I confess – I am not a carpenter. My father is a carpenter, my grandfather was a carpenter, but I am NOT a carpenter. I recently moved into a new home and I picked out the area that I wanted for my office. It was on the third floor, okay, it’s the attic. I liked it because it was out of the way and it could be MY office. Painting the walls was not that bad, the carpet was in good shape, but the ceiling tiles needed to be replaced. I said to myself, “self,” how hard could it be to replace ceiling tiles? I mean the track is already there. Just pop the old ones out and slip the new ones in. Right? WRONG!
I went and purchased new tiles and went to work. What happened next is still beyond my imagination. I am going to share with you some of the secrets that I learned replacing 2×4 pieces of tiles and the spiritual applications I learned as well:
THEY WILL BEND . . . A LITTLE
As I ATTEMPTED to put the very first tile in place, I was bending it to get in on the track, when it SNAPPED. I learned that there is a little give, but just a little. We must be careful when we are adjusting our life. If we try forcing our plans things will break!
FOLLOW THE PATTERN
I learned that if you pay close attention to the way that you take the tiles out, you can follow that same pattern to place them in. The Bible cautions us not to remove the old landmarks. I once had a man tell me, “You never need to place anyone over forty on your church board.” I simply do not understand that concept. That is the folly of Jereboam all over again. Our elders helped create a “track” that if we will use Godly wisdom, we can follow many of the patterns that they have already laid for us to follow. I was talking to my pastor about a Christian leader that was really getting off track. I knew the leader personally and was troubled, I asked my pastor how this happened. He stated that this group of leaders only had “PEER ACCOUNTABILITY” but no “ELDER ACCOUNTABILITY.” There’s no need to recreate the wheel. Follow the leading of the Spirit and the elders that have went before us.
USE THE RIGHT TOOLS
I learned that I had to use a box knife with a new blade to properly cut the tiles. I used the edge of a two-foot level to make a straight cut. I also had to make my cuts on the concrete and not on the carpet so that the tile would be steady. The same is true with spiritual reformation. We must use the right tools. You need:
- PRAYER: You will not be able to reconstruct your life on your own. You will need constant communication with the author and finisher of your faith.
- GOD’S WORD: Men have a bad rap for never using the directions when we are doing a remodeling project. Realigning your life with God’s plan is something you can’t do from your own knowledge. You must read and apply God’s Word daily.
BROKEN PIECES MAKE GREAT EXTRAS
I broke A LOT of pieces at first. However, I realized that the broken pieces make great extras. I was able to use the large pieces with broken corners for the small places. It just took a little imagination and some cutting and I was able to use nearly every piece of ceiling. The truth is that we all get broken on our journey of life. As the curt saying goes, “LIFE HAPPENS.” The good news is that your life is just broken, not over! God is the CREATOR and has an amazing IMAGINATION, He has a great way of using broken pieces for HIS glory. A leader once told me, “God is a great businessman, He doesn’t waste His resources.” Just because you broke, God will not throw you away. He WILL recycle you if you allow Him to.
As you begin to remodel your life, just know that things will get messy. Change is ALWAYS messy. My father taught me that remodeling will always cost more than you planned and take longer than you imagined. The reformation in your life will probably take longer than you would like and it will surely cost more than you anticipated, but if you complete the project you will be beautiful in God’s eyes!