Wednesday, July 7, 2010

working with metal

Metal can be shaped through various processes.  Tools, weapons, sculpture, parts for larger machines all start with the raw metal but must be "worked" to create the desired end product.  Apparently there are three primary methods to accomplishd this: forging, casting, and machining.  Forging uses external force, like a hammer and an anvil, to beat and push the metal into shape.  Heat is applied to make the metal yield to the force.  Casting starts with melted metal that is poured into molds to create the shape.  Machining spins the metal and cuts it into shape, as on a lathe.  In every case the metal starts with the potential for many uses and achieves its specific purpose with the application of force to heat, bend and/or cut it to match the design needed.  The metal is selected because it has unique properties (strength, flexibility, electrical properties, corrosion resistance, etc.) but those properties can't properly be exhibited until harnessed as the metal is worked into the form required.  I'm sure this is an obvious analogy, but we are the metal and God is the skilled craftsman.  We have potential for important work, but we must first be shaped through the application of heat and force and the cutting edges of trial.  Only then can the properties He has placed within become useful in this world of need.
Isaiah 41: 7 So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith;
      He who smooths with the hammer inspired him who strikes the anvil,
      Saying, "It is ready for the soldering";
      Then he fastened it with pegs,
      Thatit might not totter
Rob Smith

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