“There’s a tool for that.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard my Dad say that. And in the oddity of life, no matter what task we had to do there was a tool for it; not just some tool but a specific tool. Someone, somewhere, at some time had faced whatever challenge we were facing and had designed a tool to get it done with a fair amount of ease and a significantly reduced amount of frustration and stress.
For a kid, I didn’t really want to take the time to look for a specific tool. It seemed much more expedient to simply grab something a whole lot more common, like a wrench or a hammer or a screwdriver or a saw and force it to work. I also found out that there’s nothing like power tools because they can rip and tear and screw and unscrew faster than you can imagine. You use that kind of power and you don’t really need that specific tool because that stuff will blow through the job one way or another. And we all know where that’s likely to end up. The fact that “there’s a tool for that” can be wonderful if you find it and use it, or it can be completely frustrating if you ignore it and blow through a job to the destruction of the job.
The Tools in the Toolbox:
The Tool of Recognizing There’s a Tool
First, we need to recognize that whatever we come up against, “there’s a tool for that.” Sometimes we don’t think there is any tool to deal with whatever’s facing us. We think that it’s really all about pulling together our assorted array of mismatched tools and figuring out how to apply them to something that none of them are really designed for. But, there is a tool for that.
The Tool of Creativity
At times, circumstances will leave us with monumental challenges and only a handful of the most primitive tools to deal with them. We all have events transpire that are immeasurably bigger than the pile of sordid and banged up tools we’ve got laying around. In these instances we take the tool of creativity and we use it to take the limitations of the tools that we have at our disposal, and we creatively expand those tools beyond their limitations.
The Tool of Determination
Harriett Beecher Stowe wrote, “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” The tool of determination recognizes that persistence is the not exercise of futility, but an understanding that additional pressure rightly exerted can move what seems to be immovable.
The Tool of Faith
Patrick Overton wrote that when pushed to the brink, “faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” Faith states that we can rest in the fact that our challenges are not bound by whatever limits them or whatever limits us. The tool of faith recognizes that the tools that we have can do far more than we ever realized.
The Tool of Wisdom
Wisdom is often defined as the application of knowledge. Many people have knowledge, but they’re not knowledgeable in the application of it. We can be book-smart and street-smart and just plain smart, yet we can be stupid in the application of our smartness. Wisdom is the manner in which we astutely discern the challenges before us and then wisely draw from our knowledge base to solve them.
So Many Tools
There are so many tools at our disposal. Somewhere inside of us “there’s a tool for that” or there’s a tool to create a tool. We come marvelously equipped with the ability to be equipped in a way that there will always “be a tool for that.” And so, you may want to take a tool inventory and see what’s inside of you. You’ll likely be quite surprised. As Dad always said, “there’s a tool for that.”