Just within the edge of the woods behind what is now my parent’s home, is an old building. Part of it is falling in due to age and neglect. I haven’t been inside this building in years, but once upon a time, it was special. Actually, even after all this time, the special remains.
I remember as a child so long ago, my grandparents had chickens. I don’t recall how many, the numbers are unimportant. I have a short memory clip that plays of my helping my grandmother collect eggs, but it is very brief, that soundbite of time. Then, the building was the chicken coop, that place of safety for the chickens at night. During the day most wandered free, though they never wandered far. I don’t remember and I actually may never have known what brought about the decision to get rid of the chickens. I do remember helping chase down the last hen and watch as it was confined safely and taken away.
The chicken coop, then took on a wonderful transformation. It became my grandfather’s work shop. That old shop, and the storage building closer to the house were amazing buildings filled with treasures galore in the eyes of a child. I watched, and helped as he built the floor to his upcoming workshop. I was probably in the way more than helpful, but I was the first grandchild so I imagine I got away with a bit more at times. The roof he made secure from any leaks and covered with tar paper. When the shop was finished he began filling it with his tools and various other odds and ends. He saved everything. But not in a cluttered, hoarders fashion. Everything had a place, and everything was in its place. He would nail the tops to jars to the ceiling, the glass jars would hold screws, nuts, bolts. Each had their own jar that was screwed into the lid. He could tell at a glance where what he needed was located.
In my mind’s eye, I can still see him standing inside the shop, one of the few windows in front of him as he goes about his latest project. It also gave him the perfect vantage point to see if either of us kids, okay me, tried to slip off down through the woods to the neighbor’s to play. All it took was him to whistle and I did an about face and returned immediately.
He built a shed on the back of it to house his tractor and larger garden implements. There was a large opening on one end and an oversized, homemade, entrance door on the other. It was a child’s paradise. We couldn’t play in the shop, but as long as we were careful, and watched for snakes, going through the ‘tractor shed’ was allowed.
Outside of the shop, in the area that was off to one side of the main building and in front of the tractor shed, he staged his tomato cages and bean poles until they were needed. And he didn’t mind if those bean poles began stick horses we would ride off into grand adventures. He even provided the cloth saddles and string bridles. From within that old shop came more than memories. From within, came lessons.
We all have our own shop. It may not be wood, nails and tar paper, but inside holds our treasures and tools. Inside is where we work our magic in life. However we choose to store all the small pieces and keep them organized is up to us. Whether we are the creative type or the more literal. Whether we write, paint, dance, we create the music and magic of life. The literal, down to earth souls, build the foundation the magic decorates. We may be teachers, leaders, doctors. All have our own tools staged and ready.Whether we do what we do for ourselves, or for the benefit of others. Whether we do things for enjoyment, or instruction, we need those tools.
Our head and our heart the shop where the work begins. Through the windows of our eyes, we see what is going on around us. We see the wants, the needs, the desperation in some circumstances. As our mind processes the sight, our heart reacts and we begin to formulate a plan of action. We reach for the necessary tools. It is important that we keep our tools up to date and in good condition.
Research issues, don’t follow the masses blindly. Some leaders will take you down the wrong path. Seek knowledge, seek understanding, seek truth. Know your resources. Know how accurate they are in what they are sharing. Don’t blindly assume that everything that even the best of resources share is accurate. Research, test, question everything, for in this age, everything is suspect.
Be your own person. You are you. You are the you, who you were meant to be. Don’t try to be someone else to attempt to fit in because when you do that, you will have a more difficult if not impossible time at using the tools you have been given well.
Don’t allow yourself to blindly follow the passion of the moment. If something is wrong, or distorted, blindly following won’t make it right. Use your tools to work to correct the wrong, the injustice, the ignorance. If it places you on the outside, so be it, do the right, not the popular.
Have a heart of compassion, not judgement. Jesus the Christ, Himself said that He had come not to judge but to save. https://biblehub.com/john/12-47.htm No matter what your eyes show you, don’t condemn but reach out in compassion, reach out with healing and love. https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-Good-Samaritan.html. We all have something we wish to keep hidden away. We each have our issues and so called sins of which we can be judged. If we dare to judge others, we will be judged by the measure we use. So don’t. Instead open your heart and act accordingly.
There are many tools available to be used in many ways. Whether through constructive, educational, artistic, compassionate, they are waiting to be put to use to create a much needed difference in the world around us. It is simply up to us, to pick them up and put them to work.