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The Pencil

As a boy, preparing for a new school year at Maverick Elementary required the purchase of a package of #2 pencils and several “Big Chief” tablets. The teacher had us bring them the first day, and then she would store them in our personal box. As the year progressed, she would bring us a new one when needed. There was probably some cerebral lesson in that kinesis that escaped me. Anyway, I always had a pencil.

I love pencils. They are so forgiving. You can write the wrong answer and then delete it! How cool is that? No one knows what you had written, because it disappeared by rubbing it out with the pink eraser. With a pencil and a “Big Chief” tablet, you can draw your vision, write your story, or create an invention that will change the world. On a day that you feel very bold, you can even ignore the lines on the tablet and march off into new territory.

Why can’t life be more like a pencil and a “Big Chief” tablet?

December 4,1989, Edward W. Desmond captured an interview with the internationally known Mother Teresa for Time magazine. This amazing interview and the response of this Godly missionary is exhilarating. During the course of the interview, Mr. Desmond asked Mother Teresa, “You feel you have no special qualities?” Mother Teresa responded, “I don't think so. I don't claim anything of the work. It is His work. I am like a little pencil in His hand. That is all. He does the thinking. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it. The pencil has only to be allowed to be used.”

She felt like a little pencil in the Hand of God! WOW! That is such an incredible statement of self-effacement and humility. Her gracious attitude is rarely found in business institutions, churches, schools, or government entities. We live in a world where the most popular activity is taking a selfie. We brag on Facebook, feature ourselves on YouTube, and resent not getting the gift someone else gets on their birthday. Many people live in what’s called a “narcissistic bubble,” where they can do and act however they want without feeling accountable. Because so many are limited by their own world-view, they embrace ego-centrism as their personal entitlement.

Jesus said in John 5:30-31 ESV, “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of Him who sent me. If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true.” Jesus knew that His authority was in the Word of God. Jesus was the voice of His Father. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20 ESV, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

True Believers should be a little pencil in the Hands of Creator God. We don’t have to be an exquisite Montblanc fountain pen to write something earth-shaking. It’s not what’s in the pencil anyway, it’s what’s in the heart of the One who holds the pencil. Ordinary people can accomplish amazing achievements when they place themselves in the hand of our extraordinary God.

Jesus committed Himself into the Hands of God (Luke 23:46). Can we do less?

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