In my recent blog about ‘Art’, I wrote that in various ways we are all artists. We use God-given gifts and talents to create. In previous blogs, I’ve featured a fine art piece in either Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pencil or Ink. However, when asked about my hobbies and interests, I actually have four: fine art, woodworking, flower gardening and study/writing.
Today’s picture represents both fine art and woodworking as they relate to tools. I began painting with Oil Christmas of 1997. In April 2010, I built this more adequate oak ‘H-frame’ easel in my garage woodworking shop. While we lived in Andover, MN, I used it in my lower level home studio. Now that we are in a town-home, I only use the “H-frame’ easel in the garage while the weather is warm. My tools and interest in woodworking allowed me to create this easel as a tool for another interest—creating fine art.
What is a tool? One dictionary definition: “[tool] is a device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function.” My definition: a tool may be a device, implement or system that assists human creativity beyond the limits of one’s unaided body.
In time, we all gather tools for any number of creative tasks. Take a look at nearly any room in your home. Now, think about the creative activity that takes place there and the tools on hand to assist. Kitchen is a prime example with its major and small appliances, not to mention cabinets and drawers overflowing with dozens of gadgets to help create all kind of good things. Bath and bedrooms with mirrors, electric toothbrush, hair dryer and counter tops with drawers all loaded with tools to create the ‘you’ that will emerge into today’s world!
You may have a ‘bonus room’ or home office. It too is equipped with a litany of tools designed to help create whatever is on your agenda. The garage, plus any out-buildings you may have, are guaranteed to be filled with tools you use to create. Some people have the luxury of a separate space for tools needed in pursuit of their creative interests.
Before we moved, I had a large room in the lower level of our split-entry home. Half was for my study/writing and the other my fine art studio. It was perfect. I built a storage shed in the back yard for gardening tools and my garage contained all my woodworking tools. When we moved into a one level town-home two years ago, things changed. Gardening tools went to one son’s shed 10 minutes away. Large woodworking tools went to another son’s 3-car garage 18 minutes away. Now, my garage serves as ‘handyman shop’ and studio for Oil painting (in warm weather). I have a dedicated room inside for non-oil art and study/writing. A place for everything and everything in its place, right?
So, where am I going with all this?
Good question! Here’s another one: Ever thought of yourself as a ‘tool’? I believe we are. We have both the privilege and honor of being ‘tools’ in The Master’s hands.
Since the Garden of Eden, it’s been God’s plan that we be His beloved tools to care for, and co-create for His glory. The Apostle Paul expressed:
“For we are God’s workmanship [poem or artwork], created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
As God’s ‘tools’, here are things to keep in mind:
- Tools need to be appropriate for the task.
- Tools need to be appointed to the task
- Tools need to be readily available
- Tools need to be in top working order
Our ‘Master’ is in charge of the first two on this list. We listen to Him as he selects us, according to the gifts He gave us. Then, He directs us to the—person, place or thing—so we can do the “good work” He has “prepared in advance for us to do”.
Being ‘available’ and in top ‘working order’ is for our attention. Being available to do His will comes first—”But seek first the Kingdom of God.” Matt. 6:33.” Then, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman (tool) who does not need to be ashamed—in top working order!” 2 Tim. 2:15
As recipients of God’s blessing, our needs are being met and, through us—as His tool—,we carry out His plan of ‘good works’ through us, so that others may likewise be blessed.
We are indeed blessed tools to be tools of blessing!
What a joy to be a part of Jesus, the carpenter’s sacred tool box!