The Toymaker of Nazareth
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The Toymaker of Nazareth

There is something wonderfully satisfying about chopping firewood. Late summer days are good chopping days. Often I have tried to analyze what is so gratifying about swinging a heavy ax down on a nice piece of hardwood and having it split in two. Perhaps it’s the satisfaction of hitting the target when you swing down. Maybe it is the thought of preparing for winter for as nice as it is now the snow will come again. Maybe it is a feeling of kinship with our great grandfathers who had to do this if they were going to survive cold New England Januarys. Perhaps it is an innocent release of pent-up aggression. Or possibly it is just the joy of good hard physical exercise. Whatever it is I like it.

Each of us has something we enjoy doing. Everyone needs a release from the normal everyday routine of life. We garner great satisfaction in knowing how to do something well. Now I know there is no great skill in chopping wood but as primitive as it is, it pleases me to see the wall of split wood pileup in the garage away from the wet winter storms.

I have often thought of Jesus in His carpenter’s shop. He learned His trade from Joseph and we can only imagine that He was very good at what He did. I wonder how many of His tables and chairs sat in the houses of Nazareth. It is intriguing to think of the One who could speak worlds and galaxies into existence making wooden chairs or pull toys for Nazareth’s children.

Written by Roger Bothwell on Sept. 8, 2003
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453