Grandpa’s Gate

by Andy Wood on June 17, 2011

in Allocating Your Resources, Insight, Life Currency, LV Cycle

Here’s an old story that has been passed around and told in many versions.  But the message is still strong and clear:

A wise, elderly man was busy working on the gate leading to his front door.  His young grandson approached with the inevitable question, “Whatcha’ doin’, Grandpa?”

The fixer answered:  “Laddy, there’s five kinds of broken things in this old world.

  • There’s the kind which, when they are broken, no one can fix.
  • There’s them which, when they are broken, will fix themselves if we leave them alone.
  • Then there’s the kind which, when they are broken, somebody else has got to fix.
  • There’s also the kind which, when they’re broken, only God can fix.
  • And then, little man, there’s the kind which, when they are broken, I got to fix.  That’s what I’m doin’, fixin’ this gate!”

You got anything broken in your life?  Anything lost or damaged?  Any problems that won’t seem to go away?  Any memories you didn’t ask for, or pain you don’t deserve?  Any relationships out of whack, or people out of touch?  Learn the lesson of Grandpa’s Gate.

Some things in our lives get broken beyond repair.  Maybe they’re too old, too damaged, or too lost to do anything about them.  Under most circumstances, people still can’t be raised from the dead, terminal illness are still terminal, and diamonds lost in the ocean usually stay lost.  At this point you have a choice.  You can continue to try and “fix” something that won’t be fixed, or you can, with God’s help, accept that situation as unchangeable.  Yes, it’s a loss.  Yes, you will grieve, if it’s important to you.  But healing is still available for a grieving heart.

Some of your broken things will mend themselves if you leave them alone.  But there is the rub.  One of the most difficult things to do with a problem is nothing.  Remember what Moses said to the Children of Israel when they were caught between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea?  “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13).  Sure, Moses.  I’ll just catch up on my knitting.  But honestly, you can make some things worse when you refuse to leave them alone.

Some of your problems or concerns can only be fixed by someone else.  In our independent, self-made society, that’s a hard pill to swallow.  But the only way you will see the broken places repaired in those cases is to ask for help.  So swallow your pride, quit beating the air with your own efforts, and ask for it!

And what about the problems only God can solve?  Do you know how to place those matters into His strong hands and leave them there?  I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but most of the time God doesn’t need your help. Just your trust, your patience, and your obedience.

But then there are times when you – and only you – are responsible.  The cavalry’s not coming.  Daddy can’t or won’t fix it.  The rest of the world has problems of their own.  And God will help you, but only when you take the first step.  So fix it, Dear Henry, Dear Henry, Dear Henry.  Fix it!

Learn the lesson of Grandpa’s gate.  Twenty per cent or so of your problems are yours to solve.  The rest will require some faith, humility, and aggressive waiting.  God, give us wisdom to know the difference!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: