Blacksmithing with the PA Craftsman Guild

Who would have thought that at the age of 17 I could feel like a toddler learning to walk? The past week we went through the whole bible and started to hone in on creation and how God made us skillfully and wonderfully.  On Wednesday we were told that we were going to be learning a new skill at the Pennsylvania Craftsman Guild.  I was really pumped at first.  I couldn’t wait to learn something new or try something out that would challenge me in some sort of way. Blacksmithing immediately caught my eye. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into at first but I knew that with God I could handle it. 

    Through my time shaping and working with the metal I learned that the activity itself was often more demanding mentally rather than physically.  When I started I thought I would have trouble shaping and molding the metal the way I wanted to. But that was not the case. I felt like a child trying to ride a bike as I told myself repeatedly that I could do it. What was most challenging was coming to terms that it wouldn’t be perfect because I was still a beginner. I had to mentally concentrate on every step I was taking. Every hit I made had to be concise because when the metal was hot it shaped like clay. One key point the instructors told us was that if we mess up we can always stick it back in the forge and start again. I am someone who is somewhat of a perfectionist and can get very discouraged if things don’t turn out perfectly the first time. I struggled to keep a positive attitude even if mine turned out funky.  It isn’t perfect but it took a ton of patience to get it the way it was. Blacksmithing reminded me of my relationship with God. I tend to become quickly impatient with Him. I want things to work perfectly and smoothly and when that doesn’t happen I get upset and discouraged. I really had to focus on the process and not the result, and to take my time instead of rushing. In this way God showed me that if I focus on Him in my life, I’ll be able to work on being more Christ like. 

     I really enjoyed this process and have learned something totally new and exciting. In the future I hope to utilize what God taught me about patience and focus. I hope to take more time to examine my goals, the process, and how to get there; even if it isn’t right away. I am very thankful that we were able to spend time at the Pennsylvania Craftsman Guild to learn transferable skills.

Alianna Ovalle