A personal story: Use the right tools

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. ~Matthew 11:29-30.

Over the weekend, I installed our second Ring system. Several weeks ago, we added a Ring Doorbell. Now, we were adding a Ring Spotlight Cam for another area of our home. Easy enough, right? Sure, when you use the right tools.

Each unit comes with its own set of tools. You needn’t dive into your own drill bits, screwdrivers, screws or other tools because they’re all there. But apparently — in all their wisdom — Ring uses different tools and screws with each installation. Simple enough, right? Who knew?

For more than half an hour, I tried using the orange-handled screwdriver to complete the install. When I couldn’t tighten the last screw in the out-of-reach area that I couldn’t see well, I tried other measures. I even tried taking the screw out since I knew that the screw was stripped and that was the problem. No luck.

Finally, in my frustration, I was shaking my head and standing over the box, instructions, pamphlets and other remaining items, and there it was. Another orange-handled screwdriver. The right orange-handled screwdriver. The right tool that had actually come with this Ring Spotlight Cam. I was using the wrong tool, the orange-handled screwdriver from the first Ring installation.

Why does Ring use different screwdrivers for different installs? Why did I use the screwdriver from the first install? The screwdrivers are identical, or so they appear at a glance. Nonetheless, I have the same answer to both questions: No idea. So, I picked up the right screwdriver, and the install was completed in less than a minute!

But isn’t it the same way in life? We start down the road on a journey, working away in good faith, with good intentions, good plans, realistic goals and dreams. But we fail to use the right tools, the tools that God provides.

Instead, we improvise — we try the old things, our favorite devices, the tools that worked before or the tools that should work because everyone else uses those tools. And we stumble and fail. We become frustrated and discouraged.

We give up, we walk away, we quit. Worse yet, we decide we can’t do it, we’re not good enough or that it’s not worth doing anyway. And we miss out on the good things, the really exciting things and the victories and joys that are just a breath away.

All along, God has a way. All along, God wants our lives to be in order. All along, God has cleared our path to victory and joy. And, all along God has provided the tools and the original Owner’s Manual.

The way doesn’t have to be frustrating or difficult. We make it so. When we use the right tools, life is easier, and the burden is lighter. It says so in the Instruction Manual.

What has become frustrating for you? What have you given up on? What has the enemy of your soul told you “it’s no use, you can’t”? Pause a moment, and stand over the original box and instruction manual. Just like I did, you may have your a-ha moment.

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