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Amateur or professional?
pastor corner

Pastor Jim Jackson

Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church

Sometimes being an amateur trumps being a professional. How is that?

The amateur knows he doesn’t know it all and he begins a project as an adventure in which he might just fail. With no panic about the possibility of failure, the amateur persists in pursuit of his dreams.

The story of Noah just might illustrate what I’m trying to say. We understand he was a good man, but nothing is said about his carpenter skills. And even if he was a carpenter, we have no evidence he was ever into boat building.

That wasn’t a canoe he was constructing either, rather it was a huge sailing vessel capable of safely transporting his family and who knows how many beasts. We can only imagine how many mis-cuts, bruised fingers , and back aches he suffered before the rains came to lift that vessel into a floating posture.

In recent years, I’ve enjoyed working in wood. Even made some furniture of which I’m not ashamed. Made so much that our children have said: “That’s enough Dad: we don’t have enough room for anymore.”

Yet I recall my first adventure with a mitre saw. It was the kind made of a wooden box with 45 degree angle slots for a hand saw—no electric motor. My initial project was to build new trim for columns on our front porch. I set up shop on the front steps, with all the neighbors as witnesses. So many miss-cuts that I had a nice pile of sawdust on the steps. Finally I met success, even without having to purchase more wood. I looked up to see if any neighbors celebrated my victory. No such luck, and fortunately no one mentioned my fire-ant sized mound of sawdust. So that marked the beginning of a productive and pleasurable engagement with wood.

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