Tending Your Edges (1 of 3)

The older I get it never ceases to amaze me that I have made it this far and am still in one piece physically…more or less.

Like you I suspect, I bear physical scars from my years that testify to the fact that my guardian angel has gray hair, frayed wings, and bags under his eyes from sleepless nights. No doubt this dear one is pleading for the Lord's return to gather me up just as much as I am, if not more so.

My left thumb is marked by a slight irregularity next to the nail where I nearly cut it off. If God hadn't seen fit to bestow us with fingernails, my portside thumb would be one-third shorter than the original specifications. For some auspicious occasion, which I don’t recall now, my granddad gave me a hatchet. It wasn't by any standard a good tool, and it wouldn't hold an edge even in its leather case.

I was working on a hatchet project one morning with my left hand obediently holding my work below the very dull edge. Since the blade wouldn't go through the wood on its own it only seemed reasonable to hit the head of the hatchet with a hammer.

The rest is history except, thankfully, for the end of my left thumb. However, my thumb did send an immediate message to command central which I voiced while dancing in a circle holding my thumb: "That was really stupid!"

This is only one of the experiences that crossed my mind a few mornings ago as I read Hebrews 5: 11, "Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing."

There is a great deal to be said about this verse, but I only want to mention two things: Notice first that these readers became dull. They weren't dull to begin with. And it only follows that if it happened to them, it could happen to me. Second: As I've thought about it, I don't ever remember buying a cutting tool that was dull. An instrument designed to carry an edge has one on it when it is purchased—and then it gets dull. How?

Like my little hatchet, if a tool isn't tempered well it will never hold a good edge. It didn't matter if I was hacking at dandelions or a tree. The edge on my hatchet amalgamated itself into the hatchet's head. 

As people, we are subject to becoming dull as well. But how, and what do we do about it? That's next.