(Photo by Jakub Skafiriak on Unsplash)
A little while ago I heard an interview that Bishop TD Jakes did. In this interview he was talking about entrepreneurship, and he made this comment, "God doesn't build tables and chairs. He grows trees." That's such an interesting thought! The point of this comment is that so often we pray for God to give us "tables and chairs" when God has given us the ingredients to build and create the things that we need. Sometimes we need to look around at the resource that God has given us and do something with it.
In high school I remember being in my woodwork class. I had entered Year 10 in term 4 because we moved from Singapore in October. So I was behind the rest of the class. Far behind them. Some of them had spectacular projects that they had nearly completed, and I was just about to start on a pencil holder. I ended up finishing my pencil holder with a few weeks left to go of class, and so my teacher had me create a drill bit holder for him. For those who might know what goes into making a drill bit holder, it simply is about drilling different sized holes in a piece of wood. Super basic. And I still managed to completely ruin 3 pieces of wood drilling holes in it.
Sometimes it feels like we don't know what to do with the resources God has given to us to work with. We feel inadequate to build the "tables and chairs" that we need. We stare at the pieces of wood and wonder if God is going to come through for us. I know I've felt that way many times, not just in woodwork class.
Malcolm Gladwell made this statement that it takes a person on average 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become world-class at anything. 10,000 hours! Those 10,000 hours don't just appear out of no where. They are a grind! But if we don't embark on this process of honing our skills, getting back to the grind day after day after day, we might never realise our potential.
Right now you might not be able to craft "tables or chairs" using the "trees" that God has resourced you with. But if you don't give up, you will be able to. I know that my life is testament to this. My musical ability. My speaking ability. My leadership ability. These have all been honed through hours of practice. I've wanted to give up many times, but I'm so glad that I didn't!
The Bible puts it this way in Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." I find that many times I'm discouraged and want to throw in the towel because the results don't stack up according to the effort I've put in. But I've also learnt that if I change my focus from the results to the process, I'm in control of my reactions and my perseverance. I've reaped the rewards of hard work and grit now because I didn't give up. My prayer is that you don't give up too early. There are tables and chairs you're about to craft that could be life-changing one day.