Knots & Hard Places

So, I’m working on this project and I am reminded
once again
that knots are gnarly and tough.

wood knot

I learned this lesson when working with pallet wood.
I am reminded of the lesson as I work with these Grade #2 wood 4x4s.
Both wood types are messy and slightly imperfect … like people … and life.

When working with these, you must choose your cuts carefully
and be intentional about the choosing the places to drill holes.
If wood is thick enough, down deep inside the piece of lumber
may be a tough, dangerous knot …. one that can’t even be visually located.
And when cutting with a saw, a knot will definitely slow you down
with its dense, dark blemish.
In fact, you may be moving through the wood easily when
*BAM* you’ll hit the knot and it will
GRAB the tip of the bit or the blade
in a way that will make you lose control of your tool
if you don’t have a good grip and aren’t anticipating
that  sudden change in fluidity in of smooth movement.

Though, some people particularly like the way that knots look in wood.
They give wood more personality and character.
But, personality, beauty and character … are not without danger.

As a tree grows, branches sprout out from the trunk.
Sometimes a branch will break off. Bark will then scab over the open wound
and create a knot.

As I drilled three inches into the four-inch wood,
my drill bit began to spin without moving any deeper.
I could force the bit with some pressure,
but this would more likely damage my bit
more than it would move the bit deeper into the stiff, amber and wood lesion.

Looking for parallels in the spiritual physical world .... As I watched the bit spin round and round,
I thought about how much
we are like this piece of wood.
We are knotted with scars, scabbed over and stiff.
The more someone tries
to push through that tough spot with some instrument
that is intended to create something new and better,
the more likely that person is to be injured …. their blade dulled.
And, oh the friction. In dry, parched wood …
enough sawdust and friction
could cause a fire that will burn everything right down to the ground.
1" drill bit

I pull out my bit. It’s brand new … right out of the package. I have drilled fewer than six inches into wood with this new blade. The tips are sharp. The edges still keen. I will have to be careful and patient as I drill, waiting for the bit to do its work inside that dark hole.

How often do I push away God’s drill? Ask Him to put it down? Tell Him I don’t want to be something “new” and different? My knots give me personality and character, but the presence of those tight, dense knots surely gets in the way of  changes that need to be made. One at a time, He bores them out … and I am better because of it.

One thought on “Knots & Hard Places

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