A handyman I’m not, but I’m thankful God is still building

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

I was cleaning out my desk and found my “Handyman Club of America” sticker. I remember the day I received it. I usually don’t mess with junk mail, but this piece caught my eye and immediately my self-esteem received a boost.

“Your membership has been approved! You are an official member of the Handyman Club of America. Please keep what you learn here to yourself. Use your special member privileges for YOUR benefit only. Keep any free tools or equipment given to you by the club out of the hands of non-members.”

“Wow!” I thought, “I’m finally a handyman!” I was overjoyed because I didn’t grow up with a hammer in my hand. Anyone can learn how to swing a hammer, and along the way I began to bend a nail or two.

Having “handyman aptitude” is another matter. Doing “handy-man stuff” did not come naturally, took too much effort and brought too much stress.

I discovered early that I was more of a liberal arts guy, and I was very slow with the hands-on stuff. I can whip together the annual Christmas letter with ease, but putting together a tricycle on Christmas Eve was always an ordeal.

“The Handyman Club of America is special. We are a membership of people who get a lot of satisfaction from doing things ourselves. From what we know about you, you are our kind of handyman.”

I bet they didn’t know about my experience at a local hardware store in my hometown. When I was a teenager, I mowed lawns, raked leaves and did yard work. I posted signs in the convenience stores near our subdivision, and developed some regular customers.

One day a “Mrs. C” requested that I mow her lawn. She was so impressed with my work ethic and good job that she invited me to come down to her hardware store at Christmas break and she’d hire me.

I was so thrilled that she recognized my hard work and rewarded me with a Christmas job. The first day her son the manager sent me to the attic with two other workers to put together bicycles, big wheels and other assorted kiddie vehicles. I didn’t have a good feeling about this, but I gave it my best shot.

By lunchtime, I was still struggling with completing my first project. Her son the manager recognized that I’d been on the clock for four hours already and had yet to produce a finished product. So he pulled me out of the attic and put me on the sales floor.

That was fine, since, being a people-person, I’d rather be with the public than spend all day with nuts, bolts and wrenches. Only, they gave me zero orientation. So when a customer came in and requested whatever specialized screw, tool or whatever handymen shop for, I had to run ask her son the manager where it was.

This went on every day for the three-week duration of my Christmas job. I was ready to move on, and they were probably relieved to see school resume, also.

The next Christmas, I decided to check in and see if they needed seasonal help. Interestingly, “Mrs. C” said they didn’t need anyone that Christmas. At least I gained some exposure to hardware and tools.

My next big handyman adventure came years later in Awendaw, S.C. Hurricane Hugo tore up the South Carolina coast, and a group from my church travelled to Awendaw to help First Baptist Church with repairs.

I was assigned to drywall, mud and sand the new bathroom that had been constructed for use by other mission groups that would be coming that summer. So I spent the week mudding and sanding, mudding and sanding, and then sanding some more. It was educational, not to mention dusty.

“Today, our rolls include the cream of do-it-yourself enthusiasts. When you see the Club Decal, you know you’re in the company of a handyman who enjoys doing things for himself. One who takes pride in his work.”

I’m thankful God takes pride in His work. The Bible says, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works ... ” (Ephesians 2:10).

Day by day, one truth at a time, year by year, God is in the process of maturing the believer into Christ-likeness. As we rely on Him, God is still working and building our lives. He is the ultimate handyman, and “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion ... ” (Phil. 1:6).

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Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church. The church family meets at 352 McDonough Road, just past the department of drivers’ services building, and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.