Before we moved into our current house, we took on several remodeling projects. We did most of them on our own, but part of the wall in our dining room needed to come down. It closed in the staircase, which we wanted partially exposed (1) for air flow, (2) to be able to move our queen-sized bed upstairs, and (3) to open up our dining room. We tore the plaster off the wall, then hired a contractor to finish the job by tearing out part of the wall and adding a support beam. He left the final trim work to complete after we moved in to avoid it getting scratched.
Leaving the trim off the top of the shortened wall meant anything could fall into the wall, so I tried to keep our young girls away from the stairs. However, it wasn’t long before we had a small crisis. Roo, one of our Hundred Acre Wood stuffed animals, had somehow fallen into the wall. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if he had fallen in the short part of the wall. I could have easily reached down to grab him. He fell into the wall at about step number nine. He was far beyond my reached.
I didn’t have much in the house to use as I problem-solved, but I assembled a few supplies and went into rescue mode. I grabbed the broom and taped a cake tester to the handle. Holding the head of the broom, I lowered the homemade rescue tool into the wall, poke Roo and tried to retrieve him.
The first rescue attempt failed. The cake tester poked Roo, but it also came out as soon as I pulled back. I needed a hook. Since I didn’t use my cake tester much anyway, and the girls were getting increasingly anxious, I bent the cake tester to resemble a hook.
After several more attempts, Roo was rescued! He was reunited with the girls, and all was well. Except for my cake tester. No amount of bending it would return it to its original straightness. A bent cake tester won’t effectively test cakes. However, I didn’t get rid of it. I find it every now and then when I clean drawers. I’m not sure if I kept it as a testament to the Roo Rescue, or if I thought I’d someday find a use for a bent cake tester. Either way, I use toothpicks to test my cakes now.
What tool have you used for an unintended purpose and then discovered it was no longer effective for its original purpose?
- If you use a flathead screwdriver when you need a Philips, you’ll either damage the screwdriver or the head of the screw.
- If you use a spatula to pry wallpaper off the wall, you’ll likely bend the spatula (not to mention, who wants to use a kitchen utensil that’s been all over the walls).
- If you use a wooden spoon as a hammer, you’ll probably splinter it.
- If you use a lawn mower to mulch when it doesn’t have a special blade, it will probably cut your grass unevenly.
And the list goes on!
God gifts you with talents and skills. He gives you the tools you need to live life. Are you using what he’s given you for his purposes or for your own? Don’t assume you know how to use everything he’s placed in your hands. Ask him. He knows the intended use of each tool, skill, and talent, and he knows the damage you’ll do if you use it for unintended purposes.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11)