By Gary Miller
I’m always amazed at those who can make things with their hands.
I, too, enjoy creating, but my talents are very limited. I have seen some of the most beautiful items come from things like hickory branches, deer antlers, and turkey feathers. We all love to see furniture that is made from hewn logs and chandeliers made from elk antlers. There’s just something about present conveniences being wrapped in the ruggedness of the past, or slick technology placed inside a rough exterior.
I wonder sometimes who comes up with some of these ideas like making a lamp from a piece of drift wood. I don’t know the answer, but I sure would like to have one. And this stuff is expensive! I was recently at one of these “outdoor” stores in Branson, Missouri. On one table was an elk antler. Nothing printed on it and nothing built into it; and not both antlers, just one. The price was over $200! Deer antlers were pricey as well. It’s amazing how animals sometimes are valued more in their dying than in their living. We know this is true when we look at so many who poach protected animals just for what they can gain from some part of its anatomy.
Four-legged animals are not the only ones who become more valuable in their dying; we do to. It is the Christian way. If we are to live, we must die. This is an unusual paradox. This dying is not a physical one but one that takes place when we give our lives over to Christ. He then begins to live in and through us and takes even the most undesirable and seemingly insignificant parts of our lives and makes some unique, special, useful, and valuable treasures from them. He is the great artisan.
When you look at the things in your life, do you see them as ordinary and without worth? Do you think that you have nothing of value to offer God or humanity? Do you consider yourself ungifted? My friend, the value of a diamond is not complete until it has been handed to a jeweler to be cut and polished. And our value is also not complete until we have placed everything we have and are in the hands of God and allow Him to design something of great worth that we could have never done on our own.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org