This week I decided to “build a new ramp” to my dock… behind my house. I’m “no carpenter.” I laid in bed, planning out the necessary supplies to build it; and began the process of construction and placement. I think that it weighed about 350 pounds when completed, and measured 3 x 10 feet. I was a bit delayed as I my intention was to build it myself, but to SEEK HELP in the placement of the ramp, some 100 feet away from the assembly area. In the END, though, I decided to tackle-the-job-alone, as CERTAINLY, my IQ could withstand this “simple-project.” I ENJOY challenges that STRETCH my normal abilities; and this proved to be a “good-one.”
My CHALLENGE, was to build the RAMP, then drag it down to the lake’s edge; and somehow… get it across the 8 feet span to the dock; and then attach it to the dock…WITHOUT-EVER-TOUCHING-WATER. I built the RAMP in my driveway. I had drawn a diagram of what I thought to be the appropriate way to build it. When I went to the “building supply store,” I met a “real carpenter” on the same isle, who gave me a FEW HINTS, which changed my list of materials, and concept… just a tad. I took the materials home, cut them the desired dimensions, but due to it being “treated lumber,” and the size was not PRECISE, it didn’t fit tightly, as planned. I overcame those OBSTACLES, and “tacked” the pieces together with TRIM NAILS. When it was fully TACKED, I went back and SCREWED all the pieces together.
Pulling backwards, I drug it about 100 feet, down to the water’s edge; and SLID it “down-hill,” until it began to “almost” dip into the water. I countered the “dip” with my body weight, and like a “sea-saw,” …. I bounced and pushed it to where… it literally was across the span and hanging on to the dock, by a “mere-INCH.” I said my PRAYERS, and GENTLY walked across to the dock. The hard part, was turning the ramp… right-side-up.
I then drug the RAMP a few inches at a time… towards the center point of attachment; alternating to the dock-side, then the land-side, until both ends were PERPENDICULAR to the dock. At this point, the RAMP was, more or less, in the proper place, but still…UN-ATTACHED at either the dock-side, or the land-side. Another feat to overcome.
My CHALLENGE: How was I to ATTACH the ramp to the dock, by myself, without standing in four-feet of water, and holding a 350 pound ramp up by one-end, while attaching it? Seemed unsurmountable. I purchased 3 sets of “eye-bolts” (not sure of the correct term), and pre-drilled the 3/8” holes and attached the eye-bolts 12’ apart, on the side of the DOCK, and on the end of the RAMP. Once attached… my plan was to simply run a ¾”x3 foot steel rod through the “eye-bolts,” thereby converting them to a HINGE.
I did this by putting a step ladder on either side of the ramp, and placed two 2×4’s across as a scaffold. I simply sat on the scaffold, and drilled the holes, and inserted the eye-bolts, tightened them down, and then…. had to figure out… how to “hold up the ramp” with ONE-HAND, and run the rod through with the “other-hand,” while standing on either side of the RAMP (at the same time)… all of which was physically impossible.
SOLUTION: Call my son, and ask him to be the “other hand” on the opposite side of the ramp. Accomplished. I NEVER touched the water; built it entirely by myself; and maneuvered it into place… all without HELP, until… The “only help” consisted of holding the ramp in place, while running the rod through the “eye-lets.” (Thank you Bryan, for holding up your side). I tell you all of this STORY, as an ILLUSTRATION that when you think that all the odds are against you… then, THINK again, as they don’t have to be.
STOP. THINK. PLAN. Work with the “resources” (the positives) that you have, and don’t DWELL on the “weaknesses,” (the negatives). And, also, have the WISDOM to RECOGNIZE that which you are IN-CAPABLE of doing and seek HELP. Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
I am simply saying this: God provides us with all sorts of GIFTS, TALENTS, and WISDOM, and He expects us to use those GIFTS to our own advantage, and to HELP our neighbor as we would ourselves. …….Blessings…….cjlb…4/12/15.
Photo Credits: cjlb