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December 12, 2016 “Carving”

I am fascinated with wood carvers.  When I look at a piece of wood I see a piece of wood, but a master carver can look at a piece of wood and see the item that it can become.


Many of us have stopped by the side of the road on a trip to the North Georgia mountains to see the work of a carver whose tool of the trade is a chain saw.  If we are lucky we actually get to see this work in progress.


The canvas is a huge log—roughly chopped and standing on end.  The master carver pulls the cord on his high-decibel chain saw and sets to work.  Like Edward Scissorhands he maneuvers the implement of his trade, all the while shavings blowing in every direction.


Observers stand nearby talking among themselves.  Sometimes they make guesses as to what will emerge from the artist’s canvas.  They look at previously created works and wonder, “Is he making another bear?  A moose?  A totem pole?”


Under the skillful touch of the artist’s hands the desired shape begins to emerge.  With wonder and delight the onlookers begin to clap.  The eagle appears to have been set free from the cumbersome log.  The shavings have flown into the wind like chaff, and in the process the eagle’s wings appear ready to take flight, to glide in the breeze and soar to the heights.


In this season of Advent the theme of carving can be tremendously important—important both in the sense of ourselves as carvers but God being a carver as well.  We are busy—so busy with all the parties and tasks of the season that it is often hard to find a moment in time for God.  Maybe today, as we move toward the fourth Sunday of Advent, we can picture ourselves—chainsaw in hand, working with relentless speed and dexterity toward carving out time for God. 


And in those quiet moments—in that time alone with God—maybe we can picture God, the Master Carver.  May we see him at work chipping away the chaff, the things in our lives that weigh us down.  May we see the picture beginning to emerge.  May we see ourselves as eagles, wings perched, ready to glide in the breeze and to soar to heights we never imagined.

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