image courtesy of

“Wow!” – “That’s really cool!” I said, pretty shocked by my emotional response. As we opened the box I felt a twinge of something I hadn’t felt in a long time. The old frog I thought was dying or dead jumped in my stomach again and the goosebumps landed. Β It’s been a long time…

I remember as a kid the frog jumped around in my stomach followed by the landing of the flock of goosebumps on my flesh, with the youth and exuberance that matched my age. Christmas, birthdays, events, that kind of stuff, but after living a long time the excitement wanes. Solomon said it, “Nothing new under the sun…”

After living and experience over a lifetime the excitement for us, especially as Christians, is reserved for relational excitement or emotion. You know, watching other experience the truly great things in life that can’t be equaled by monetary means.

Imagine my surprise to find myself excited to be opening a box! It wasn’t even expensive, relatively speaking…. or writing, but it was far beyond money, it was not just any box, it was a box with a tool in it.

I can’t recall or count the number of these boxes I’ve purchased over the years, literally too many to count, but there I was excited like a kid again. I remember my first one… it wasn’t new, it was old, beat up, and solid heavy metal, but I was thrilled to have it, even if it was second hand… or third or fourth.

I love that tool. I respect it. After all, even in all it’s rugged beauty, it’s treacherous. It took a small piece of the end of one of my fingers clean off. I’ve seen it maim other men for life, but I love it anyway. It’s not the tool’s fault, it’s operator error.

This box was a little more special than all the other ones I’d bought, this one was a 75th-anniversary edition with special paint, coatings, and castings. My thoughts came to me as a young man when that tool celebrated its 50th anniversary as I held the box of the 75th anniversary Skilsaw.

I knew immediately that this particular saw that gave me goosebumps to look at in awe would never cut a piece of lumber. It would never get the chance to take a piece of human body… It would be immediately retired to my den/office top shelf.

That tool represents a lot of my life and who I am as a man… I’m like that tool, a bit harsh and potentially dangerous, but in the right Hand, the most amazing tool.

From my humble beginnings that tool fed me, even in my life now, that tool in a related way supports my family. It’s hard to explain the relationship between a man and a tool, a dangerous tool at that. A person quickly learns respect for something so powerful. While I don’t pull the trigger on that beloved tool much these days, I remember the feel, the vibration, the high pitched hum that stole some of my hearing, the torque, the life or death focus while smelling fresh cut lumber…

May I be such a powerful and respected tool for my Father’s use as he builds his church…