Pause for Thought – a five minute read – Week 23

Genesis 6

All my Own Work

Now that the evenings are getting much colder I have started lighting my log burner in the conservatory. It easily heats up both the conservatory and the dining room but also provides a fascinating focal point. Through the glass doors the flames can be seen dancing and leaping around the fire box and the colours change depending on the type of logs that are being burnt. Occasionally, if a piece of wood is slightly damp, it will crack and spit sending bright burning red embers ricocheting off the glass doors like a firework display. It reminds me of the coal fires that we had when I was young; we always had a fire guard in front of the grate to contain flying embers and stop them from reaching the hearth rug. This was obviously to prevent the rug from setting alight, but also because mum had actually made the rug.

She made several rugs around the house, some were plain, some were patterned and some had pictures emblazoned across them. Mum would buy a piece of hessian the size that she wanted, then cut up pieces of material into small strips and thread them through the holes between the weft and the warp of the hessian backing.  The different colours of the strips of material made the pattern or picture on the finished rug. I think they called them, ‘Peg Rugs’.

Looking back, mum was quite clever with her hands and I can remember her knitting and click clack sound of the needles when she got up to speed. I can also remember her and my sisters making dresses. They would buy patterns made of tissue paper and lay them on top of material over the kitchen table. Then they would cut the material to the shape of the pattern and stitch them together into a dress.

Dad was more my style, he made garages and petrol stations out of plywood and I would cover them with, ‘Castrol’ and ‘Esso’ stickers. He always made them just the right size for Dinky Toy cars and I had one for Christmas one year.

Dad and I also made a crystal set radio, well I say Dad and me but I did little else but pass him a screw driver or pair of plyers. He made it in a blue metal biscuit tin box with a hole cut in the top to fit a dial which I turned to tune into a station. I regularly got told off by mum for listening to the radio through headphones under the bedclothes when I should have been asleep.

We did make a model aeroplane, it was a glider (no engine), made from Balsa wood. Each piece of the plane was pre-stamped into a sheet of Balsa wood and we had to push them out and stick them together with glue. The whole frame was them covered in tissue paper and painted with a liquid called Dope which dried hard. When it was finished I thought it looked great.

Dad and I carried it proudly across to some open fields close to where we lived and dad launched the aircraft into the wind from a high point to give it the best lift. Unfortunately these were the days before radio controls so when the plane left dad’s hand it was on its own climbing high into the air on the breeze. Sadly everything that goes up must come down and we carried the broken bits of Balsa wood and tissue paper back home and it never flew again. Perhaps I should try again with modern technology.

I did, on my own, build a model boat, again from Balsa wood, with an electric engine run from a battery contained in the cabin with a roof that lifted off. It worked really well and dad took me to Lister Park paddling pool In Bradford to sale it. I wonder what happened to it, (The boat not Lister Park paddling pool).

I also wonder how Noah must have felt when God told him to build a boat. The Bible doesn’t tell us what Noah did before this commandment from God but it is likely he would have been a farmer but not at all connected with boats. His boat was no Balsa wood, pre-stamped, push out and stick together model, it was big and the only plans were the dimensions given by God which had to be specifically adhered to.

The enormity of the task just can’t be imagined, not just the boat building but also reconciling the whole project with his wife, his sons and their wives. Putting up with the ridicule he would have received from his friends and neighbours. Then there were the animals, where did he get them from, how did he feed them?

Despite the seemingly impossible task before him, there is no indication in the Bible of Noah complaining, arguing or doubting God, in fact Genesis 6 v 21 tells us that Noah did everything that God commanded.

Perhaps there lies a message for us all in Noah’s story. No matter how impossible the task that God presents us with appears, no matter how many stumbling blocks appear before us on the road, no matter how dark and stormy the future may appear, God can be trusted to see us through. We must do everything that God commands.

I have just looked up how much new model aircraft kits cost on the internet;- Jet Fighter, remote controlled, all metal construction, – £800

I think I will stick to Balsa wood.

Derek T.