Life is Hard!

I am a strong believer that God uses everything that happens in life to teach us something about Himself if we will just listen to His Spirit and allow Him to instruct us. Then I search God’s Word to see what God has specifically said regarding what the Spirit has impressed upon my mind.

I am a pen turner and I love to work at my lathe. I have learned many things about life as I work at my lathe. Each step of the process in turning a piece of wood or antler into a pen is painful to the material with which I am working. The process includes cutting, drilling, shaping, sanding, polishing, friction, and pressure. But when the process is complete the material has been transformed; it has new beauty, value, and purpose. Something of little value now has greater value, all because it endured a painful process! Life is full of difficulties and it easy to become overwhelmed. But there is a purpose behind each hardship; they are all part of a process to shape and mold us into some of greater value and purpose. My desire in writing this blog is to encourage and maybe stir up some conversation with the lessons that God has been teaching me through the painful process of life. Life is hard, but God is good. May He continue working His process in my life.

If you are going to read any of my posts be sure to ready "Introduction to Lessons from the Lathe". In that post I lay out the basis for all the other blogs.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lessons from Dirty Filters

I have two vacuums in my shop. One I use to collect the dust from my lathe; the other I use to collect dust from my band saw and to sweep the floors. I should say that I had two shop vacuums, one died recently. I am ashamed to say that it died because I was not a good steward of my resources. I hate cleaning the filters! It is a dirty, dusty job that takes away from the time you have to actually work at the lathe. I like to make things, not clean filters. I usually try to brush the filters after each day's use to remove the dust build up and keep the performance of my vacuum up to par. I have four filters and could easily change them daily. But recently I was just too lazy. I let the filter go uncleaned for weeks at a time. I'd change a dirty one with a clean one but not clean the one I had taken off and soon all the filters were dirty. But I just kept on working with a dirty filter. Sure I noticed a decrease in performance but most of the dust was still being sucked up. Then the vacuum started making funny noises and I realized that I better start cleaning the filter again. But it was too late for that vacuum, the clogged filter had caused the motor to work extra hard until it burnt out. I am ashamed of myself for being so lazy. I hate to even share this story but I believe there is a deeper lesson to be learned. My life is like a shop vacuum. The filters must be cleaned daily to keep my motor running right. We live in a sinful world and there is a lot of dust and debris that sweeps into our minds and lives. If we are not careful to clean our filters daily we are setting ourselves up for a fall. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind." 1 John 1:9 say that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The daily cleansing that I need in order to keep my filters from clogging to the point of allowing my motor to burn out is available. All I have to do is take the time to ask God to clean them by renewing my mind, confessing my sin and repenting. This past year has been a particularly rough one for me. My "motor" was operating at less than full capacity, in fact it was spitting and sputtering and making all kinds of funny noises. God had to remind me to clean my "filters". It is not easy to share my failures and shortcomings. But if God can use the foolishness of my burnt out shop vac to remind you to keep your life right with God, then I am happy to humble myself and share my stupidity. I am taking the time each day to clean the filters on my shop vacuum and, God willing, I can keep my remaining vacuum running for a long time. I am also taking the time to clean the filters of my life; keeping a short account of sins with The Lord, and that has made all the difference! God is good. Scott

No comments:

Post a Comment