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Points to Ponder: Needed Wisdom Is Readily Accessible
Points to Ponder
Needed Wisdom Is Readily Accessible
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer
Though my father has been gone for 11 years, I felt like I was with him the other day. He was one who could fix anything. He enjoyed tinkering with cars and equipment.
With my new zero-turn mower, I had to remove its deck, get the blades off, change the oil, etc. Unlike Dad, I am a bit intimidated by machinery. I used to take my car to his house, or if an appliance broke, he'd come to mine. I'd watch in awe as he'd tear things apart. Then, by the end of the day, he usually had it figured out.
I would never embark on such bold initiatives. Whatever gift he had for this sort was not passed along to me.
But there I was with my mower in pieces. It being new, the bolts were extremely tight. First I could not open the oil drain plug. I had a difficult time gripping the piece on the end of the drainage hose. Grunting and groaning, it would not budge. So I left that and pursued the removal of the mower blades. I braced one with a wooden block and slipped a long bar socket wrench onto the bolt. Again, I grunted and pushed with my body weight behind it; nothing moved.
"Well, Dad, now what?" I said to myself. I really didn't expect him to answer; I don't think they mow in heaven.
But there was a reply. It came from within my own mind. First, I began looking at the whole project as I imagined he would. I viewed the big picture before me, then studied down to the individual sub units. Most complicated tasks that stop at a dead end are resolved with relatively simple solutions. That's how Dad figured them out.
As I looked at the mower blades with my long bar wrench still hanging onto the bolt, an image came to mind from my childhood. Through my then ten-year-old eyes, I was watching Dad work on our '69 Dodge station wagon as he faced a similarly stubborn bolt. In my mind's eye I saw him take a larger wrench with a hanger hole on the end. He slipped that wrench's end over the handle of the stuck wrench. It created a simple fulcrum/lever effect. He then easily
cranked the bolt loose.
For my long bar wrench I had nothing like Dad had then, but with his eyes (so to speak) I searched the garage. I took a pipe-like piece from our disassembled hammock frame. Slipping my wrench's handle into the hollow pipe effectively made the wrench twice as long. Then with ease, the bolt came free. I did a similar move with that pipe and got the oil drain plug off, too. I had two hours into this project before I figured out what to do.
And here's the thing. Everything I needed was right there the whole time! It was simple fulcrum and lever technology - elementary school knowledge. I knew this and I had the tools available. Yet it was my dad's wisdom that knew how to apply that basic knowledge to an impossible situation.
I realized in that little maneuver that I had that wisdom accessible to me all afternoon. In the form of memories, I can say that my dad is always with me. But in day-to-day living, I gain fresh insights about an obstacle when I am with Dad.
The old ways are not obsolete. Sometimes we just become too smart for our own good. We fail to realize that the answer to a problem is found in how you're looking at it; whether it be in your garage, in your neighborhood, or around the country.
In our society today, we wring our hands and lament how terrible things have become. Our leaders in government are inept, putting a lot of energy into grandstand speeches because they have no substantive ideas. I see many churches with religious leaders doing much of the same; as Paul warned, "having a form of religion but denying its power..." (II Timothy 3:5).
Jeremiah's words to his nation surely speak to ours as well.
"Thus says the Lord: 'Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.'" (Jeremiah 6:16a)
As our nation finds itself facing complicated issues, and problems that defy modern wisdom, it's time to reconsider the paths we've chosen. The tools and the wisdom we need are accessible. But will we see and receive it? Wisdom is knowing what to do with what you know.
Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45 a.m. & p.m. & Wed at 10:45 a.m. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.