Last week, I wrote an article on one of Madam Teresa’s quotes which says “We are all pencils in the hand of God”. I outlined the purpose of the pencil which is to leave marks on a surface in the form of lettering, sketching and drawing etc. But before a pencil can be used, it has to be sharpened. I then related the pencil to humans who also need to be sharpened by God in order for our potential to be unravelled. I went further to point out how most times when we’re being sharpened, we rant, cry, or feel frustrated, which is normal but we lose it when we resort to quick fixes to bail ourselves out of the sharpening stage.
Today, I’m building on last week’s post concerning the sharpening stage. Have you ever been on good terms with someone then at a point in time, their attitude towards you changed all of a sudden? Perhaps, they made you feel worthless. Have you noticed that when we’re at our lowest or when we go through hardship is when most people in our lives desert us? Have you sat down to know why? Let me help you out.
When a pencil is being sharpened, it leaves debris on the surface on which it is being sharpened. This debris usually creates inconvenience for the surface on which it falls on because it makes it dirty. Moreover, when a pencil is being sharpened, there is only one human element present and that is the artist or the person sharpening the pencil. The artist is the only one present because he/she is the only one who has a mental view of how the sharpened pencil should look like.
Secondly, the artist doesn’t need a 2nd or 3rd party around to interfere in his/her work. Moreover, the artist needs a serene surrounding in order to concentrate on the sharpening process.
Just like the pencil, we also create debris around in the form of depression, anger, tears, groaning and gnashing of teeth, confusion, financial crisis, or loss when we’re being sharpened. All these traits make people around us uncomfortable which makes them desert us if they cannot take it any longer. When a pencil is being sharpened and one looks at it from the surface on which it is being sharpened on, what one sees is debris which is an unpleasant sight. But when one looks further from the point of the artist from the top to its sharpening tip, what one sees is a nice, smooth pointed shape being formed. This adorable view would overshadow the views the debris from the pencil presents.
The same thing applies to humans. When people look at us based on the effects of our sharpening process, all they see is a disgusting sight but when they look at us based on how God who is the architect of our life sees us, all they’d see is a wonderful person going through a reformative stage for a potential to be unleashed into the world. Moreover, God doesn’t need a lot of people in our lives during this stage because they’d just be a distraction to our process. That’s why we often get deserted when we’re going through hard times which is part of our reformative stage.
Sometimes, we compare the level or duration of our hardship to that of others which is erroneous. The way in which a pencil meant for sketching is sharpened is different from the way in which a pencil for lettering would be sharpened. Same thing applies to the duration they’d be sharpened. This means if we’re to put ourselves in the shoes of a pencil, the level and duration of our sharpening differ based on our potential and what God wants to use us for.
After an artist is done sharpening a pencil, he/she then decides which surface the pencil would be used on based on what the artist wants to achieve. The surface can be a canvas, a sheet of paper or a formica board. The shape of the pencil edge is usually determined by the surface on which it would be used on.
The same way God also sharpens us based on where we’d be positioned to make an impact. Unfortunately, we try to determine where we want to be even when God places us at where we’d make impact the most. We usually prefer staying in comfortable environments than places we consider as unfavourable. An extremely sharpened pencil might break when used on a canvas as compared to a sheet of paper. God places us in environments we consider as unfavourable because he has shaped us to fit into those environments so we can transform it into a world-class environment. He’d sometimes place you in a chaotic environment because he has shaped you so you bring peace into that environment.
So you know what? Do not be disheartened by the conditions in your current environment. The pencil doesn’t resist when it’s about to be used on a surface because it trusts the hand that shapes and holds it. Look within yourself and see what you can do to make an impact in your environment. That’s how you stand out. It’s what brings your eureka moment.
Do not be perturbed if people desert you during your sharpening stage because they’re not necessarily needed around in the first place if you’re firmly in the hands of God. Secondly, it’s only those who can see from God’s perspective that’d stick with you till you’re out of the sharpening stage and ready for impact. Do not also compare your situation with others because we’re all not created for the same purpose. Our level and duration of sharpening are determined by what we’d be used for. So keep calm and trust in the one whose hands you’re in. Be rest assured that you’re safe in God’s hand.
WRITER: Desmond Pappy Tawiah