Life is like a pencil – don’t you think?

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life is like a pencil, pile different colored pencils

I’ve always been intrigued by people who are great thinkers. I love listening to someone who shares wisdom through simple thoughts and phrases. When my husband and I were in our twenties, he brought home a little booklet one day. The author was a man who had written hundreds of sayings and thoughts down, things that he said helped him in life. I loved that booklet and would read it over and over again in the years to come. I’m not a great philosopher, but I appreciate simple thoughts that inspire, encourage and support my life’s journey. We all love Forrest Gump’s “Life is like a box of chocolates” saying, right? Well, today, I’m pondering how life is like a pencil.

Life has no power without God

life is like a pencil, three wooden crosses, sunlight and clouds in background

Every one of us is a unique, unrepeatable person created by God. Even when we are “acting alone” in life, we’re never really, because without God, we cease to exist. Our lives have no power without God. A pencil is like this. It can lie on a desk for centuries, but it’s useless without a hand to hold it and guide it across the paper. Mother Teresa used to say that she was a pencil in the hand of God. I get it, now.

Your life is more about what’s inside you than outside

pencil tip

When you think about what really matters in life, what is it? We speak of beauty. How many times must we remind ourselves that a person’s beauty isn’t merely external? It’s what’s on the inside that matters most. The way we perceive the beauty of the world also comes from inside.

A pencil is very much like that. Pencils come in all different shapes, colors and styles, but it’s the lead inside that matters most. In fact, you can have a piece of lead from the inside of a pencil without having the external parts and still be able to write. Life is like a pencil because it’s what’s in our heart and souls that matter most, not what’s on the outside.

An eraser makes life like a pencil

two red pencils with erasers lying on lined paper

We all make mistakes in life. There are bound to be times when it feels like we’re making more mistakes than doing things right. Perseverance and determination are key. We have to keep trying, rising above and forging ahead. If we make a mistake with a pencil, we use the eraser to clear the way for correction.

The erasers in life take many forms. The ultimate Eraser, however, is God. When we’ve messed up our “life essay” and seek forgiveness, we’re asking for correction, and He lovingly responds. His forgiveness is like the eraser on a pencil. It clears the way for us to start again.

Life is like a pencil when it breaks or needs sharpened

life is like a pencil, opened notebook with pencil, sharpener and pencil shavings on it

Life can be challenging. We might experience setbacks, disappointments, sorrow, suffering or tragedies. Sometimes, we experience all of this in a single day. Think of the trials and challenges in life like the sharpening of a pencil.

We have to peel away the layers to expose more of the lead in order to make our writing clearer. Experiences sharpen our lives. A disappointment or setback might help us rethink a decision or choice. Sorrows and failures help us learn more about ourselves. What happens if the point on a pencil becomes too dull? If we don’t keep our minds and hearts and souls “sharp,” we won’t be able to reach our full potential or help others reach theirs.

No two lives are exactly the same

row of different colored cartoon smiley people

If there were only one pencil for every person to share to write down his or her life story, no two stories would be the same. Life is like that because we all have life but no two journeys are exactly alike. Just as it matters who is doing the writing with a pencil, the unfolding of each life depends on whose living it.

You might give 10 people the same supplies: a pencil, eraser and a piece of paper. The result of each will vary because every writer or artist is unique. You and I might go through similar circumstances in life, but like a pencil, the result might be different depending on how each of us reacts to the circumstance or how it applies to our individual lives.

Life is like a pencil. You are the writer and God is guiding your hand.

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