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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN




Let The Chips Fly

A man decided to take 'a stroll down an old street in Greenwich Village. He saw a number of people crowding around a shop window and so he threaded his way through the swarm until he could see. In the front of the shop were two eight-year-old boys, sitting cross-legged, totally oblivious to the fascinated throng outside. Their embroidered shirts, leather shorts, thick wool stockings, mountain shoes and golden hair were all covered by wood chips. These flew from the razor sharp carving tools in their hands almost as fast as the snowflakes outside.

At the front window were rows of carved bears, elves and cogs.  The quality of these was remarkable, but the speed of the little sculptors was miraculous. They never seemed to make an error, never hesitated and always put their full strength into every cut. The boys chattered constantly, but never took their eyes off the wood blocks in front of them until each small statue was finished.

Inside the shop the pro rietor explained to the man what this was all about. "They are Austrian twins and have been carving for long as they can remember. Their uncle taught them and they work with him in his shop in the mountains." The man asked how they work at such speed without using any templates, outlines or any mechanical aid to guide their work.

"That's what so impressed me," said the shopkeeper, "so I asked them to explain their methods. They said that their uncle showed them how every block of wood has an animal or person inside waiting to lie set free by the tools. To let them out you must keep seeing the animal or person right there in the wood at the time. Then all you do is cut the other wood away. When you've cut away every chip holding them in then the statue is free. I know it sounds like some kind of fairy tale, but you can see for yourself that it works."

"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his
height...the Lord does not look at the things man looks at, but the Lord -
looks at the heart" ,,(I Samuel 16:7)

You may recall that this is the story of God's choice for a king and that king would be someone that Samuel and the others would not have considered. The prophet had his own agenda. The king would lead a nation and fight for it. This new king would not have the heart of King Saul, but, at least, he ought to look like him. Yet, God had something else in mind. And we realize that this is not the first time nor will it be the last that God's perception of people and their potential will amaze us. Look at your own life. Do you see the "flying chips” as the Master Sculptor is setting you free to become His masterpiece?

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward