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Lessons Learned Through Playing with Sticks


While I was out making the video for yesterday’s survival tip, I also gathered some materials to make myself a bow drill. For those unfamiliar with what that is, it’s basically a bow, like the sort you’d use to fire and arrow, and a small spindle (aka a short straight stick) that sits on a dry board with the bow string wrapped around it. The spindle is held in place by gently pressing down on the top with either another piece of a wood or a stone with a divot in it. To make fire, you draw the bow back and forth like you’re playing a violin, except much faster, until the friction gets it hot enough to spark an ember.

But this post isn’t really about bow drills and fire making. And it’s not about survival, at least not in that way. I was practicing a bit with some of the various materials I gathered and with thoughts of what I want in a relationship lingering in the back of my mind, an analogy began to take shape.

See, the thing with bow drills is, if you don’t start with the correct materials, it’s gonna make getting a fire started really REALLY difficult. You’ll put in a ton of effort and in the end, wind up sore and exhausted with nothing but a whole bunch of smoke. And you’ll still be sitting out in the cold. Relationships are much the same as bow drills in this way. If you walk through life and just pick up the first thing that LOOKS like it fits the bill, without taking the time to get to really know what it is you’re looking for, you’re likely to wind up cold, tired, and hurting more than just a little bit.

On the other hand, if you take that time and learn about what it is that you’re REALLY looking for to achieve the desired goal, you’ll find you get much better results. If your desired goal is just to LOOK like you’re making fire for the sake of appearances, then, by all means, pick up whatever looks good and is easy to get a hold of.

But, if your ultimate goal is to really get that spark that will ignite a flame and keep you warm and safe for as long as you tend to it and give it what it needs to keep burning, then you really do need to be a bit more selective. You’ve got to be patient keep searching until you find just the right kind of wood, or just the right person, and then when you put in the effort, not only will you get the results, but you’ll find it requires much less work as well.

We often complicate it, but it’s really that simple and natural. If you want to have the comfort of a warm satisfying fire, you have to pick the right wood to start it off with. If you want to have the comfort of a warm satisfying relationship, you have to pick the right person. And with that, I shall pray that you have the knowledge of what you want and where to find it, and the patience to wait until you can find it.

Thanks for reading!