“If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended.” Romans 2:9
Apostle Paul told the Jews that it takes more than where you came from and how educated you are to receive God’s grace. He used the example of wood–go against the grain, and you are certain to get splinters. Splinters fester under the skin and cause pain. If left unattended, infection sets in.
I had my one and only experience working with wood in Mr. Reyman’s industrial arts class during junior high–a mandatory class for all students. For my wood project, I chose to make a pine-framed bulletin board. Mr. Reyman didn’t just point us to a pile of wood and the power equipment, he taught us step-by-step the beauty of wood, how to safely use the equipment, and to be patient with producing the product. I learned to measure twice and cut once, to use the right grade of sanding paper, and to finish the wood with a protective seal. Each step of my project had to be approved by the teacher before moving on.
I hung the bulletin board in my home for many years, and it served two purposes–one to hold notes, pictures, children’s art work, and as a reminder that it takes knowledge, patience, and practice to produce something worthy. If we embrace our walk with the Jesus, the master carpenter, with the same process, we can avoid the splinters in life that cause pain in our relationships with God and everyone in our lives.
Dear Lord, help me keep from messing up my life by working against the grain. Amen.