Today’s find: Precarious

My toolbox is actually a tackle box.

Which is to say, I keep a collection of allen wrenches and screwdrivers in compartments meant for fishing hooks, lures and swivels.

It’s not that I couldn’t afford a proper receptacle for my pliers, hammer and utility knife. But I kinda like it this way – toting tools in a container which serves as a recurring reminder that I am in fact no handyman.

IMG_7879 3

Why carry tools in a tackle box? Because I’m even worse at “fishing” than “fixing.”

Precisely because I boast a long history of bollixing even seemingly simple projects, my first instinct is to ignore most “honey-dos.” Maybe they’ll go away, I figure.

Trouble is, a sort of amnesia sets in once you’ve taken a multi-month break from attempting to fix things around the house. You tend to forget that you’re incompetent.

Alas, a muddled mind is inclined to dive back in, figuring “how hard could it be to make that faucet stop dripping?” And such a thought inevitably precedes the torrent. Or if not a flood, at least a maddingly persistent flow, puddling out onto the floor of our basement “powder room.” Followed just as inevitably by the news that your trusty plumber’s next available appointment is Thursday, six days hence.


“Just walk away from the drip, and no one gets hurt…”

Precarious, indeed, is the presumption of power or control – particularly when wielded by any dude who totes his tools in a tackle box. Still, as I bide my time waiting for the plumber to arrive, I find I have the chance to meditate on how my plight resembles that of the disciples we meet in today’s gospel passage from Luke.

Jesus sends them out two-by-two, I notice…as I whisper a prayer of gratitude (thanks, Paul!) for the actually-handy brother-in-Christ who makes a house call as soon as he hears about my struggles with water leaking from who-knows-where.

Jesus strips his disciples of precarious presumptions, too. They are to carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals, not even a tackle box. But ill-equipped as they are, their efforts still produce remarkable fruit; they are able to cure the sick, tread upon serpents, and preach the Good News that “the kingdom of God is at hand…”

But it doesn’t take long for the disciples to develop a sort of amnesia about their fecklessness. They are seduced by accomplishment: “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name!”

So Jesus immediately asks them to embrace a starkly different reality. He asks them to accept that weakness might be the best gift of all. Dependence, not power: “Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you…” 

Why? Because in our weakness we discover that we are already held in God’s loving arms. There’s nothing precarious about our powerlessness. Rather, it’s a liberating force – a chance to recall that as children of the Holy One, our “names are written in heaven.”


As God’s children, we rejoice that we’re never in this thing alone.

Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Post navigation

2 thoughts on “Today’s find: Precarious

  1. Vic Jost

    John, If you can’t wait for the plumber, I’ll be happy to help! I have my own toolbox!! Vic

    Sent from my iPhone


Blog at

%d bloggers like this: