When I was a kid, I hated change. I think we all do at some point; in fact, with some of us, it becomes an obsession. I remember crying as a child because my bedroom furniture got changed around. I hated getting rid of an old toothbrush and starting to use a new one. I clung to old toys and “relics” of past years, not because I still used or needed them, but because they represented parts of myself, of my past, that I was unwilling to lose.
As I have gotten older, I have learned, with varying degrees of success, to let go of the past and embrace the new (and unknown) future. It hasn’t always been easy, let me tell you… I’m the safety-conscious one, the “slow and steady wins the race” type, the “hiding in the corner trying to look like a potted plant” kind, the one who wades in up to my knees while everyone else is high-diving. And I might still be hiding out in a bedroom closet, if it wasn’t for Someone changing my life.
Why the Carpenter? Oh sure, He has lots of other names… Saviour, Messiah, King of Kings, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Branch, the Root of David, the Bright and Morning Star, the Rose of Sharon… but there’s something about the Carpenter side of Jesus that draws me, perhaps because it’s His most human side.
Picture it. The Son of God Himself, bending over a project in a dusty workshop filled with shavings and scraps of wood. Maybe the sound of children laughing and playing falls on His ear from the open doorway. Perhaps He hums a Psalm written by King David, one of His ancestors. He scrapes and sands; tightening a joint here or there, measuring with a practiced eye. Perhaps His mother peers around the corner and smiles at the sight of her Son, so intent on His work. I’m sure at times He shook His head and wrestled with a stubborn knot in the wood, or perhaps He accidentally struck His thumb with a mallet or chisel. How the religious leaders of the day would have stood slack-jawed in amazement, and how the townspeople would have shaken their heads in wonder, had they known Him for who He was… God, in the form of a young man with sawdust in His hair and dirt under His fingernails.
So what does a carpenter who lived over two millenniums ago have to do with change, or rather the dislike of change? Nothing, or rather, nothing except the fact that this Carpenter is still alive today; only today He is scraping, sanding, tightening, and wrestling with people. Ordinary people like you and me. And this Carpenter has an uncanny and sometimes uncomfortable way of changing the very things that make us who we are. Kicking us out of our comfort zones, so to speak. Oh, but what piece of wood enjoys a carpenter’s touch? Who enjoys being cut in pieces, sanded, and fastened together in a completely different form that what we were?
At least, nobody who lives with the old belief that they are more beautiful BEFORE the Master Craftsman has finished His work.
And that’s why I’m writing this blog. I’m still a work in progress, with rough angles, sharp edges, and splinters sticking out every which way, but I’m following my Carpenter. Sometimes the path is rough, sometimes smooth, sometimes fun, and sometimes painful. But it is never, never boring.
So, I’ll dive headfirst into the ocean called blogging. I may splutter and gasp for air, but you know what? Since I started following the Carpenter with all my heart, life is somehow a lot less boring and a lot more… well… fun!