April 4

Nails and Half-Measures

April 4, 2016

Personal Growth

A two-by-four piece of lumber really measures 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches, because the original piece of wood—two inches by four inches—is reduced in size during the process of drying and planing. The other day I nailed two pieces of two-by-four together. Laying them horizontally on top of each other, I used a three-inch nail, which fastened them well, because it penetrated both boards completely.

At one point I wasn’t paying attention and picked up a two-inch nail, but the two boards fell apart, because the nail penetrated only the first board and a tiny bit of the second. Worthless.

I smiled and thought about how often we use two-inch or even one-inch nails in our lives to fasten two-inch boards together. Understandably we are tempted by the lure of making as little effort as possible. One-inch nails are cheaper and easier to pound into wood, but even twenty one-inch nails are USELESS in fastening two-inch boards.

Some results simply require the use of bigger nails, regardless of the expense or effort. We can complain all we want about the hard work, but if we want to grow, we have to do what is required. Complaining doesn’t make a nail longer, and half-measures don’t yield half-results. Half-measures routinely produce no growth at all.

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