In the Fall of 1976, the magic began. Seeing, holding, experiencing a custom handmade knife for the first time is a benchmark for many. It was for me. Like others, I had read about them in sporting journals, but mere photographs pale in comparison to a work of art held in your hand. The symmetry, elegance, and functional excellence can capture you if you’re ready. I was.
Many enter this profession of custom knifemaking as an extension of a lifelong hobby, others from technical backgrounds, such as machinists, that enable them with the fundamentals of metal working or design. Often they’re outdoorsmen, seeking to ‘build a better mousetrap’ beyond the knives they’ve carried in the field throughout their lives. Some are drawn by a call that cannot be explained, a craving to create, longing to express a part of them that’s never been released from within.
Merely looking at the external, this choice of careers seemed odd as I had never worked with my hands, never been formally trained in any area of this craft, and had just received a college degree in a totally unrelated field. You can imagine the response in coming home and announcing to my parents, after spending four years of out-of-state tuition, that, “I wanted to make knives.”
But considering it from the internal, we are each gifted with talents and abilities, uniquely specific to us. How we develop and use them is solely up to us; why we’re at a particular place in time, to leave a legacy of excellence for others, is solely up to God.
I was at a turning point in life for a reason. Over three decades later, my point of beginning then is still my guidepost today: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Listen for God’s voice and seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
For me, God has been faithful and His word true.
Over two thousand years ago, a holy God stepped into time upon this earth, and revealed to us a simple truth: God is love, and He loves us more that we could ever imagine. That love was revealed through His Son, Jesus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (John 3:15, I John 5:11)
Alan Seeger penned in his poem ‘I Have a Rendezvous with Death,’ “And I to my pledged word am true, I shall not fail that rendezvous.” When the dust finally settles, there are only two things that will remain—two appointments each of us have left to fulfill: “It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27); and on that day, we will each stand before a holy God and answer a simple question, “What did you choose regarding my son, Jesus?”
The Bible says, “Choose you this day. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death…choose life.”
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
God gave each of us free will to determine our own outcome in life. The most important choice each of us will ever make will be our decision concerning Christ.
God freely offers to each one of us His gift of salvation, the gift of eternal life. “For by grace are you saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” It is not a gift we have to work for or earn, because Jesus has already paid the price.
In the Bible, one man asked, “What must I do to be saved?” The answer is simple: The Bible tells us “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”
If you have never done so, this moment is your opportunity. Speak those words above as a simple prayer of faith to God, and receive into your heart God’s gift of salvation and His promise of eternal life. And in having done so, you will have your answer when God asks you, “What did you choose regarding my son, Jesus?”
I made that decision a long time ago. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
So why am I here?
I’m here to live a life of excellence in what I do, and to point others to Jesus Christ.