The Nails You See
If you know me, you know that I love apocalyptic movies. I don’t know what this says about me, and I can’t afford a therapist to dig into the issue any deeper.
Anyway, one of my favorites is “World War Z.” It’s a zombie movie. And the zombies are actually quite terrifying as opposed to the zombies in other movies and shows like the walking dead. Sure, they’re gross, but a zombie that can barely walk is pretty easily defeated. On the flip side, a zombie that torpedoes themselves into your windshield repeatedly until they break through can cause a little more fear.
Regardless, Brad Pitt says in a scene of this movie (while speaking to a Doctor who is the only hope they have to defeat the virus that is causing the problem), “These guys are hammers…” (Speaking about the army guys they’re flying with) “And to a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
It’s a great quote. There’s a lot of great spiritual material that correlates to real life in apocalyptic movies.
There are a lot of different ways to think about this line. But today, I want to use it to help encourage you in the way you see the world.
We have a tendency to form a point of view and then only see things through that point of view. We develop a way of thinking, and then we get stuck in that way of thinking.
At one time we were growing and learning and becoming all Christ has for us to become. But, we got comfortable. Or we were stretched too far. Or the next step was going to be too difficult. Whatever the reason, we stopped growing. From that point on, we only saw the world through what we had learned to that point.
Maybe you’ve continued to learn the facts of the bible without applying the truth to your life. I’m guilty of doing that. A lot.
Whatever your case (or mine), we stopped growing and now we only see nails. Everything is a nail.
Everything is a problem that has to be solved, and it can only be solved by my one solution. Whether it’s a screw or a clay pot, we’re bringing our hammer.
The world a big mess, and no matter where I turn all I see is the mess. More nails.
I can’t do anything right. Things never go my way. The world is against me and I’m a perpetual failure.
You get the point.
We have a tendency to get stuck in a rut of thinking about life and the world in the same pessimistic way. We allow ourselves to be influenced by social media and buy into the hype that everything’s wrong with the world.
After a while, all we see are nails.
“Hey, I thought you were going to encourage me?”
I am. Right now.
What I want to encourage you to is this: start looking for other things. Are there nails out there? Sure. But there are bolts, and screws, and bricks and mortar and millions of other things. There’s a lot for you to see if you’re willing to see it. Not everything has to be a nail. Not everything is bad. Not everything is falling apart.
Maybe the reason things around us seem so messed up is because that’s the only way we are able to see things. And until we start seeing the potential and possibility that lies around us, we just keep recreating a world of disorder and chaos.
A hammer is fine, as long as you’re pounding a nail. But not everything is a nail.
Look for things around you that aren’t nails…that aren’t problems…that aren’t falling apart…
Look for the good around you…look for the positive people…look for the hope…look for the love…
If we start looking for the good, we’ll see it. Do you know why? Because it’s there. We’ve just grown so accustomed to looking for the nails, looking for the bad, that we don’t see the good anymore.
Look for the good today. Drop the hammer and pick up a bubble wand. Blow some bubbles and see how far they fly.