I am presently sharing a series at Cornerstone entitled "Under Construction." The premise is that we are all works in progress. We are not perfect, but are being changed into the image of the Lord from glory to glory. The processes of life are in place to help us progress and become what God intends us to be.
I came across the following parable while researching for the series on the Internet and found it to be a wonderful illustration to share. Therefore, I used it do drive home the 2nd message of the series and, as a result, have had many requests for a copy of it – so I am posting it here.
I would love to credit the author of this piece, but as far as I can tell, its authorship is unknown. FYI: The theme of the message (to which this parable was the main and closing illustration) was “Why Am I Here?” Before I spoke, our Usher Team passed-out brand new, unsharpened pencils to everyone in the audience. The crowd was somewhat confused by this “gift,” but it all made sense at the end of the message and drove home the point quite dramatically.
The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. There are 5 things you need to know, he told the pencil, before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and you will become the best pencil you can be.
1) You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone's hand.
2) You will experience painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to remain useful and become a better pencil.
3) You will be able to correct mistakes you will make.
4) The most important part of you will always be what's inside.
5) On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.
The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.
The Pencil is YOU. If you always remember the 5 Principles of the Pencil, you can – and will -- live a useful and fulfilled life.
1) You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God's hand. The pencil can be used to make works of art and tell wonderful stories, but only when placed in the right hands. By itself, it can do nothing.
2) You will experience painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems, difficulties and trials, but the sharpening is necessary in order to become a stronger and more useful person.
3) You will be able to correct mistakes you might make or grow through them. You have been divinely fitted with an eraser, called “grace.” The Bible claims that "none are perfect, no not one."
4) The most important part of you will always be what's on the inside. “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” Jesus on the inside -- working on the outside.
5) On every surface you walk, you must leave your mark. No matter where you are or what the situation may be, you are leaving a mark. What type of mark are you leaving with your life?
God designed each of us for a purpose. The reason that we are on this earth is to fulfill the purpose for which God made us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made – and when we allow ourselves to be placed in God’s hand to be used by him, great things are – and will be - the result.
I encourage you today to live the life that God created you to live. Be the gift that God created you to be. Put yourself in the Master's hand and bring glory to your Creator by making your unique mark upon this world.