I spent 9 of my most formative years growing up in Ghana, and in middle school in Ghana, there’s a subject that every student has to take called Pre-Technical Skills. Basically, it’s the equivalent of Shop Work or Wood Work, but with a heavy emphasis on the technical skills needed to build things – perfecting angles and lines, and understanding how to draw a blueprint before actually setting forth to create a piece of work.
And man, did I hate Pre-tech.
Not because I thought it was the most useless subject in the entire curriculum (even more so than Agricultural Studies where we would memorize the different parts of farm machinery and different species of goats – Nungua blackhead anyone?), and not because I didn’t understand it, but because of the level precision it took to master it. You’d have to draw out the preliminary outlines in a specific pencil with rulers, and measure out exact angles with protractors and a compass. And if one angle was even a degree off, you’d have to restart it all over again. If you tried to half-ass the plans, it would always show in the end product. No matter how hard I tried, my plans never came out perfect, and anything short of perfection ended up crumpled up in the trash.
So you can imagine my excitement when I found out my older brother was actually GOOD at these pre-technical skills. He had much more patience and precision than I did. He was light-handed with the pencil. Every angle was perfectly measured and plotted, and he took his time to make sure every mark and every line was precise before permanently filling it in. If you looked at his work and mine, the difference was stark. Needless to say, he ended up doing a lot of my pre-tech homework in junior high.
What Does Any Of That Have To Do With Jesus Though?
Y’all just have to bear with my long-winded stories, because I promise, they all serve a purpose in the end lol.
I used to wonder why of all things Jesus chose to be a carpenter. Of course, he was born to Joseph, a carpenter by trade, and so it was most likely that he too would become a carpenter, but surely the God of heaven could have chosen to be born to an astronomer or a priest or some other person. Why a carpenter?
I think God chose to manifest His son into who he actually already was: a Carpenter’s son – the Master Carpenter’s Son.
As I start the adventure of rereading my Bible this year, I see God’s carpentry in everything – in the way he laid out the earth’s foundation and measured the expanses in Genesis. In the way He ‘built’ woman out of bone (the Hebrew word used for the creation of woman means ‘to build’, as one would a palace). I see it in the way He decided on the materials and measured out the dimensions of Noah’s Ark, and Solomon’s Temple. And most of all I see His carpenter’s hand in the way He laid out His entire story of reconciling man with Himself through the sacrifice of His son.
God has a way of piecing things together in perfection like only He could. He has the patience, and the wisdom, and the time – all of eternity in fact – to sit down at His carpenter’s bench to plan out the world and its story. And His son does the same thing with our lives and our stories – in him everything that is broken is fixed, everything that seems misplaced gets put together in perfect harmony and alignment. So in the same way I could trust my brother’s superior pre-technical skills over my own, I can place my life in the hands of the Carpenter’s Son with confidence. I can live knowing that I don’t have to try to perfect my life on my own, and that because He’s much better at this, and he sees the bigger picture, that he can work everything together for my good.
Something to think about: What life plans are you making for this New Year that might be better off in the hands of the Carpenter and His Son?