I like to go to home improvement stores and look at gardening tools. I love a well-shaped pair of pruning shears or sharp grass clippers. My favorite tool is the electric lopper my husband got me as a gift. That baby makes short work of pruning trees!
Not long ago I had to repair some of our lawn sprinklers but couldn’t loosen one of the pipes. So I went rummaging in the garage and found an amazing tool. It’s called Robo-Grip, and it worked like a charm. I even love the name. Doing repairs is so much easier with the right tools. They make any job more enjoyable.
Some liken Christians to tools God can use. As I used my Robo-Grip, I thought about that concept. Am I a tool in God’s hands? Does he think of me as I think of my pruners, loppers or Robo-Grip?
What about an instrument? Am I an instrument in God’s hands? I tried playing a clarinet when I was younger and regret not keeping it up. I remember how good it felt to make the clarinet produce the right notes to make a melody. It inspired me and made me feel creative.
I doubt God looks at me in this way. In fact, I’m sure he doesn’t. We use a tool to do a job and we use an instrument to make music. I am more than that to God. We have a relationship.
By becoming human, Jesus has taken all humanity into himself, making us one with him. He calls us his friends and his brothers and sisters, and he invites all of us to participate with him in the loving relationship he shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Author C. Baxter Kruger likens what goes on in the realm of the Trinity to a great dance1, an apt description. Tools can’t dance. Mere instruments can’t leap up and twirl around a room. Only human beings can participate in this great dance of life.
Join the dance, rather than sit on the sidelines as a wallflower. Join the dance, rather than think of yourself as a mere tool or instrument. Kick up your heels and fly across the floor to the incredible harmonies of God’s boundless joy and love.
Thinking of ourselves as tools seems to me a limiting mindset. God gives us the freedom to choose, to think and to be creative in how we relate to him and to others. A tool has no freedom and does only what the user wants. Rather, we can think of ourselves as participants with God, as his beloved children working together in collaboration and cooperation.
I love my tools, but only as they are useful to me. If they break, I throw them out. Thank God he loves us all the time, even when we break, which we often do. We never become useless to him. He heals us and helps us keep going, because that’s what family and friends do.
1 C. Baxter Kruger, The Great Dance (Regent College Publishing, 2005).
By Tammy Tkach