Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Which Tool Are You?

To learn all that a horse could teach, was a world of knowledge, but only a beginning. .. .Look into a horse's eye and you instantly know if you can trust him."~Mary O'Hara

I am still taking a break from the women series because finals are approaching fast, and I just can't seem to find the time to put together worthy studies on the upcoming crucial scriptures. So, I thought I'd share a little bit about the Ladies' Retreat I went on last weekend.

The theme of the retreat was horses. We stayed at a farm and learned spiritual lessens via horses. The wonderful ladies that work at the farm lead some truly creative activities and challenges to teach us about ourselves, how we view God, and how we view each other. We were split into groups with the objective of leading a horse through an obstacle course without touching the horse. The obstacles were created by 4 small groups, each one representing various problems that keep Christians from maturing spiritually. Afterwards, as one large group, we participated in a "group therapy" type session to discuss what we learned.

The first night, we watched two short videos of horse trainers to parallel our relationship to God. The first trainer used a bit and bridle and spurs to coerce the horse to do the rider's will. But the second trainer built such a remarkable relationship of trust with the horse, that she did not need to use any methods of coercion. The horse WANTS to submit to her. I do not know a lot about horses, but even I could see that what this rider accomplished with her horse was amazing. So, if you do know about horses, I suspect you will find this video meaningful. This girl rides BAREBACK and the horse still obeys. It's simply beautiful.

"There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse."~Robert Smith Surtees

That video really spoke to my heart.

But the most revealing activity was when a vast array of wooden tools were laid out in the middle of our circle. We were asked to pick the tool(s) that represents who we are or what we do in the body of Christ. There were hammers, screw drivers, nails, spackle knives, measuring tape, glue guns, nuts and bolts, saws, wrenches, pliers, electrical outlets, drills, and so forth. I immediately grabbed:

I chose these tools because I am an inherent "cut and paste-er." In order to become passionate or convinced about a belief or idea, I have to dissect it, analyze, question it, and approach it from every feasible angle. I don't do well with spoon-feeding or assumed beliefs. After I cut it all up, I can paste back together the valuable jewels of truth. Scissors and a glue gun are the symbolic tools for the identities I take on or aspire to: a questioner, a seeker, a reconciler, an eclectic wanderer, carrying the flag of diverse unity. I love to sift through the unlikely places, the unusual places, and even the undesirable places and finding God there. I can cut out the wisdom and truth found in these places that point me to Jesus and paste them altogether to create a unique, multidimensional faith.

So which tool are you? And why?

I'm curious how readers of this blog see themselves.


musicmommy3 said...

I would need to see all the choices before I could do that. Give me a semi complete list. :)

Tia Lynn said...

Hmm... any tool you can think of you can be. :) The tools that I can remember were:

Screw Drivers
Glue guns
Spackle knives
Electrical outlets
Measuring tape
Paint brushes (both small and large)
Something called a “square” or squarer
Some kind of finishing tool, that sands stuff.

These tools weren’t part of the exercise, but I can totally think of people who could be these....

A plunger
A sledge hammer

Terry said...

For me, a sanding tool and the paintbrushes. I picture myself in light of the scripture: I am His workmanship, a work in progress (Eph. 2:10), being made into the image of Christ, and one day I'll be a masterpiece!!

Since the spiritual work was complted on the Cross, all the work left to be done is the shaping of my outer man to match the inner man- hence the finishing tools.

Melody JOy said...

It was so great to have you on the retreat! I also really enjoyed what you shared here and during the tool exercise :)

musicmommy3 said...

OK...I pick a hammer and a paintbrush. For those who know me the paintbrush is obviously the creative way I work in the body (drama, music, sign language, etc.). I add color to the body. (some people would say too much-haha)

the hammer is because lots of times I am used to hammer truth home. Not always in a hammer way though---I think I am becoming more of a velvet hammer in my "old" age. :)

Tonya said...

I would pick a magnifying glass and a hammer. I love any puzzle, especially if it involves thinking. Anything that needs to be examined closely, worked and reworked, to find and put together the coherant big picture is a thing that I want to tackle. I like order, logic and beauty all together. This is rough since I have 5 small children:):):). I have to be okay with living in disorder, chaos and mess sometimes.

I have an almost insatiable desire to know and understand things and put them together. I also like the challange of figuring things out myself, although I will give up and read the directions if I get too confused. This lovely quality drove my mom to the brink of insanity when I was little.

Okay. Have fun with those finals!

Peter said...

Definitely a shovel. The deeper I can dig the better. Reaching the core of a person, an idea, an argument, a philosophy, or even a religion is a rewarding and invaluable feat.

"Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”--John 7:4

Michelle said...

this is a great question, I notice you and Catrina must have gone on the same retreat! cool ...

I thought about this while messing around in the kitchen, and came up with a screwdriver. I think I am often used to push people deeper...they are already on the right track but sort of wobbly, barely hanging on, and don't realize all the potential they have ... or maybe they are just seeing the surface stuff in their lives/relationships, not digging down to what the heart of the matter may be... I like to work them a bit, turn them around as need be, and help them grab a hold, deeper into their identity as God's beloved child. With my own children, I like to see "what is God doing in them that is APPARENT" and then push them deeper into what He may be doing on another level, in their hearts.

if that makes sense at all!... you can imagine this has been a tricky one to write, avoiding obvious word issues about "screwing people" (ack!!)

stehpy said...

Can I be a whisk or a ladel or something? I like to stir the pot.

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