I had a sense of satisfaction on Saturday after I successfully installed two shelves onto a wall in my study. Not only have they stayed up, but when I put the spirit level on them at the end they were both perfectly level! I am a DIY Expert!
I can correctly identify 11 different types of wood: as proved by my victory in the wood recognition test at a recent blokes’ carpentry morning. (Those hours watching DIY and carpentry programmes on TV have not been wasted!). I know which end of a hammer to use when hitting nails into something. I still have (and am still using) the wooden book stand that I made at school 30+ years ago.
But these things do not make me an expert. They prove that I managed to follow the shelf-installation instructions correctly. They prove that I have remembered some things I saw on TV. They prove that my woodwork teacher taught me well.
I love making things out of wood, but I don’t have the time, the tools, the patience or the skill to do it well. That is why (to my shame) the wooden items I have made and which still remain intact in our house are:
wooden bookstand (as previously described)
small wooden stand (with inside shelf) designed as a small bedside table for my son.
wooden shelves with dividers designed as a homework organiser for my son.
wooden shelves that were mounted on the wall in my daughter’s bedroom in a previous house, now floor-standing in her bedroom
wooden framework used in ‘sawing a person in half’ magic trick
Thankfully some of these will never be seen by anyone with even the remotest amount of skill in carpentry and joinery.
I wonder how Jesus got on in Joseph’s workshop? Was he instantly an expert in all sorts of joinery and carpentry or did he have to learn, to improve, to serve an apprenticeship? I suspect it is the latter. He grew in wisdom and knowledge just like the rest of us.
Wouldn’t you love to see some of the things he made? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if some of his early pieces were as dodgy as some of mine? And what about the later ones, when he had mastered the techniques? Never mind a Chippendale chair, what about an original Jesus BarJoseph?
I am coming full-circle (almost). When we were getting the answers to the wood-recognition test at the Nelson Woodcraft workshop, David told us about the different sorts of wood and you could see the appreciation and knowledge that he had for the different pieces of wood: the inherent beauty and strength contained within them. I suspect Jesus had an even greater appreciation of the wood he was using, since he was in the original design team for the trees!
And he was in the original design team for you and me. He has the greatest possible appreciation for you and me.