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Splitting Wood & Solving Problems

It didn’t start out as a problem. Most don’t.

My wood man called and said, “I’ve just cut down a tree would you like a load of wood?” The price was right and I needed the wood to feed my insatiable fireplace over the winter so I said, “Bring it by.” When I arrived home later I found two rows of stacked wood and a dozen huge pieces of the trunk of the tree. He explained that they would come back to split the pieces of tree trunk as they were running out of daylight.

No problem.

Several weeks went by until I received the call—“My friend that likes to split wood is off tomorrow and I’m bringing him by to split those logs, but he doesn’t have any wedges or a sledge hammer so you’ll need to get those.” A few cents short of ninety dollars later I was the proud owner of two wedges and a twelve pound sledge hammer. We’re in business.

The wood splitter arrived the next day, mid-thirties, well-muscled, and ready to make firewood out of logs. A few hours later they called, “It’s taken him four hours to split on log into four pieces and he’s giving up. Sorry.” I returned home to find four huge pieces of log, the wedges, and my barely worn sledge hammer to one side. This presents a problem.

The problem was, like problems are, several smaller problems. I had eleven huge pieces of tree trunk stack two deep on my wood lot. I had four pieces that need to be split at least four more times each. I didn’t have anyone to do it. And only connection with a power wood splitter and the truck to pull it had been out of commission for several months and wouldn’t be returning to active duty (mainly helping me) for several more. And the stacked wood would only last a month or so. That’s five smaller problems that made up one big problem. I pondered the solution.

Now I should say that this if what we called a “first world problem.” We won’t freeze if I don’t have a fire in the fireplace, we have a perfectly dependable gas furnace that heat our home nicely. But I like a fire. And the wood wasn’t going anywhere. And sooner or late my neighbors were going to begin wondering why I had those logs, visible from the street, on my wood lot. So it wasn’t a life or death problem, but it was a problem.

A month or two went by and I decided to see it I could split one of the four pieces of log with my weapon of choice, a ten pound splitting maul. For those not conversant with wood lots a splitting maul looks like a sledgehammer that has a sharp wedge on one side. One whack. Two whacks. On the fourth whack the piece split in two. Each half was twice as easy to split. In ten minutes I had an arm load of wood and was out of breath.

As I’m writing this I’ve just come in from splitting another log. Not another piece. Another log. It took a half an hour. I only have seven more to go. I’ve been splitting logs. By hand. Now you may think that this blog has been a waste because you are never going to split wood. But you are always going to have problems or one kind or another that need solutions. And ifyou’re in a place where you are solving other people’s problems you will always have work and will always prosper. And if you were really sharp you picked up some ideas about problems and their solutions as you read. If you didn’t pick them up I suggest that before reading any further you go back and re-read. But if you don’t want to do that keep reading.

Problems often begin as opportunities that go awry. External forces often precipitate the problem, like the sun going down on my hapless wood man. Problems are exacerbated by a lack of proper tools, not just the kind made of wood, fiberglass, and steel, but the social, mental, emotional tools needed to avoid or correct problems. Many times those you’re depending upon to solve the problem can’t or won’t. Most big problems are made up of several smaller problems. Problems can be solved.

When you join me “Behind The Door” I’m going to continue my metaphor and give you a quick course in both wood splitting and problem solving. You may never need to split wood but you will always need to solve problems. If you have your password to go “Behind The Door” you can go there right now. If you don’t have your password click the “Sowing” button and sow a seed in any amount to this ministry and the password will be sent immediately via email. The default setting is $20 but you can raise or lower that amount—but remember, one times one is still one and what you sow is what you grow! The password is good for the entire month and both the blog and the video “Behind The Door” change each week. I’ll meet you “Behind The Door.”

Dr. Leon Stutzman

Pastor, Author, Creative Thinker, Problem Solver, More Than A Prophet, Legend, and Icon


Dr. Leon Stutzman has been called all of these things by the people that he has helped. But everyone calls him "Doc."

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