Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The first step to remodeling our kitchen was demolition. We stripped the kitchen of its cupboards and its dry-wall-like material. This brought about many encounters with nails, lots of nails. Big, strong nails that required strength and power to remove. Tiny nails that came out all too easily. Rusted nails that were once mighty but weakened when compromised by the elements. Misguided nails that, due to their off-course ventures, became impossible to remove and had to be either pounded further in until they were absorbed by the wood surrounding it or permanently cut off so as to appear as if it never existed.

The next step was rebuilding, which also brought about many encounters with nails. Many a man can attest to the fact that nails do not go in on their own. They must be repetitively pounded until they have found their rightful place between the grains of the wood. They provide such strength and structure. So much so that without them, the crafted would crumble.

Desiderius Erasmus, a Catholic Christian theologian from the 1400's said, "A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit." I would agree with him and would add that a nail is much like a habit in many ways. They are driven into place by repetition, they provide structure to the created thing and the strongest ones also require the most power to remove.

As I gear up to sort out some habits (like the chaff from the wheat), this visual of the nail is worth holding on to.

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