Instructions

In a true “Tim the Tool Man Taylor” moment, I recently used a power drill to carve a pumpkin. My wife was hosting her middle school girls’ eGroup (eGroups are small groups at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC) and they were carving jack-o-lanterns in the front yard. They were using a kit with “tools” which could only be described as the equivalent of the classic Easy Bake Oven that uses a light bulb to cook (eventually).

Two of the girls had small pumpkins that were approximately as hard as granite. I attempted to mark the outrageously complicated pattern’s outline using a fork. The rolling marking tool that came with the kit had the same chance of piercing the pumpkin’s rock hard surface as chalk on a sidewalk. I barely avoided plunging the fork tines handle-deep into my palm multiple times before seeking an alternative.

Naturally, I chose an electric drill. I quickly marked the outline by drilling closely-spaced holes. I then connected the holes using the drill in a completely inappropriate (i.e., typical man’s) way — by translating the drill laterally, perpendicular to the rotating axis. Eureka! Pumpkin complete. In the end, I rejected the available tools, ignored the accompanying instructions, and chose a much more powerful, if unconventional, option.

See where I’m headed with this? As Christians, we choose a different tool box. We elect to ignore the operating manual offered by the world’s wisdom. Instead, we apply God’s living word to our lives: the Bible. We rely on God’s grace, mercy, and strength as the rock on which we build our lives. We know that the tools for living offered by the world are inadequate and ill-suited to the task at hand. We grab the power drill! Uhh… uhh… arrr.

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About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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