When I was a little girl, we had in our possession a wooden toy that consisted of a board with holes in it, some round pegs, and a wooden hammer. The task involved pounding the wooden pegs into the matching round holes in the board. Since there weren’t very many things that I was allowed to pound on, I found great pleasure in being able to hammer away at the pegs until they finally fit through the hole and sometimes even fell through to the floor beneath.
I thought of this toy as I read some verses of Scripture this morning related to the topic of God’s will. Sometimes it can seem that doing God’s will is like trying to fit different areas of my life into round holes that God has already made. If I figure it out correctly, I can pound my life choices into the right holes and achieve success at doing God’s will. If I don’t figure it out, I can spend a lot of time trying to fit some area of my life into a hole that I think is God’s will, only to find out that it just doesn’t work, bringing a sense of frustration and defeat.
Is this how it works? We keep trying to conform our life to the right peg hole in God’s big wooden board, and we don’t know if we got it right until we have tried for a long time and then failed? This is not the picture God’s Word portrays for us. The Apostle Paul, in Romans 12, makes this statement: “Here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” (The Msg) To put it in the terms of this analogy, instead of trying to fit my pegs into God’s plan, I need to bring all my pegs to God, leave them in His hands, and let Him make it all fit together.
The challenge of all this? Letting go of my pegs. Letting go of the hammer. Allowing God to choose the where, when, why and how of my life. Letting Him do the hammering, the shaping, the choosing. But only then do I truly experience the surrendered life that God intends. And as Paul so aptly stated, when I embrace what God does for me, that is the best thing I can do for Him.