Tools of the Trade

The first soldering iron wound up in my shopping bag at around age 13 or so. That was not my first trip to Ted & Mary’s Hardware Store to buy tools. Tools have been a fascination since I was a child.

Computers are a tool. Many of the things I’ve done over the past 30 years would have been difficult to impossible without a computer as a tool.

Software, also, can be a tool. I’ve written using outliners (at least three different ones). I’ve used Word and Google Docs and a variety of text editors.

How about you and your spiritual disciplines?

Do you need a meditation cushion, incense, a cross or other ikon? Do you need a special edition of the Bible and a favorite chair in order to study? Can you pray without that special shirt or jacket?

I have wasted so much time and energy searching for the perfect tool.

Sometimes we make too much of something when simplicity is the key.

We can meditate in a special room–or in the waiting area at the airport with all the noise and movement around.

We can study at a special desk with perfect lighting–or wherever we have a half-hour to read and think, maybe reading on our phone while waiting for someone at the mall.

We can wait for that perfect service opportunity–or we can help the next person we meet collect something or pick up something.

The opportunity is right here with us. The tool is whatever we have at hand. Are we prepared to act?

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