Once upon a time a pencil maker once lived in a far away land. The pencil maker made beautiful pencils. His hands were very skilled and even though over the course of his life he had made millions of pencils, he loved each pencil because he had made them with great care and great love.
One day the pencil maker was carefully looking over one of the pencils he had just made. The pencil maker told the pencil 5 important lessons just before putting the pencil back in the box:
Everything you do will always leave a mark.
Whenever a pencil is used, it leaves a mark. The mark will fade in time, but the mark is there none the less. The more we use the pencil, the more marks it will make. Eventually though, the pencil will be used up and it will no longer have any more marks to leave.
We are the same in this regards. While we live out lives here on earth, we leave our marks. These can be good or bad marks depending on what we do. We can also choose how many marks we leave. We can lead a life full of significance leaving very few marks or we can leave many marks and leave a great legacy. Eventually though, our pencils will be used up and we will leave this earth being unable to leave any more marks on it. It will be up to other people, who you have hopefully influenced, to carry on leaving good marks on this earth.
You can always correct the mistakes you make.
Pencils are made with erasers. If you make a mistake, you can use the eraser to erase the mark and then make a new mark. The mark that you originally intended to make.
We are the same way. There are times that we will do things that we did not intend to do. While we can’t change the past, we can go back and ask for forgiveness for the mistakes we make. If we are given a new day, we can use it to correct our mistakes we have made in the past by not making those mistakes again.
What is important is what is inside of you.
The wood on the outside of the pencil has very little purpose other than to protect the graphite on the inside of the pencil. The graphite is what is important. It is what leaves the mark, not the wood surrounding it.
It is the same way with us. Our outside will age and become less beautiful with time, but it is what is inside of us that is of most importance. It is what is inside of us that we use to leave our mark. Our marks decorate this world and they are a direct reflection of what is inside our heart, mind, and soul.
In life, you will undergo painful sharpenings, which will only make you better.
With a pencil, if you never sharpen it, it will work for a while, but eventually there will be no more graphite exposed and it will no longer be able to leave a mark. The pencil will still have graphite inside of it, but it is of no good use because it can’t leave a mark. By regularly sharpening the pencil, you keep the graphite exposed and sharp and the pencil is able to leave it mark very distinctly.
As it is with us, we need trials to come into our lives and sharpen our senses. To make us aware of our shortcomings so we can realize that we need to do things differently. Without these struggles, we will never reach our full potential. Lets be thankful for tough times that come into our lives and know that they will keep us razor-sharp and allow us to live the lives that we were intended to live.
To be the best pencil, you must allow yourself to be held and guided by the hand that holds you.
Pencils can’t write by themselves. They require someone to pick them up and us them. It is a perfect symbiotic relationship. The pencil is capable of making beautiful art, but only if someone takes the pencil and writes with it.
It is the same way with us. We are capable of doing amazing things. Beautiful things. If we are trying to write our life by ourselves, we will be very limited as to the type of mark we can create. We can create a mark, but it will usually end up looking very uninspiring. If we allow God into our lives and allow God to have control of our lives, it will take us to places that we had never known were possible. We will make more beauty during our time on earth than we ever thought was possible. Allow yourself to be handled by the hand of God and what we can do is endless.
If you could not already tell, the pencil maker in this parable is God and we are the pencils. God creates all of us and despite the millions upon millions of people He has created, He loves each of us and wants to have an intimate relationship with each one of us.
We all need to be constantly sharpened. This parable may encourage you to know that you are a special person, with unique God-given talents and abilities. Only you can fulfill the purpose which you were born to accomplish. Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot be changed and, like the pencil, always remember that the most important part of who you are, is what’s inside of you and then allow yourself to be guided by the hand of God.