One morning last week I used the expression, “That hammer rang true.” I don’t know how common it is. Maybe I made it up. Regardless, it prompted a puzzled expression from others at the table.
Think of the sound you hear when a bat connects with a baseball right on the sweet spot. It’s a distinctive sound. Nothing sounds quite like it. When you hear it, you don’t need to watch the flight of the ball. That sound is enough to tell you that the baseball is leaving the park.
That’s like a hammer ringing true. When driving a spike or rod with a sledge hammer, the hammer produces a distinctive sound when it connects in just the right spot, when it rings true.
Ain’t one hammer down in this tunnel
Ring like mine, Buddy, ring like mine
This nine pound hammer it rings like silver
It rings like silver, but it shines like gold
The conversation that led to my “ringing true” comment was about the Front Porch worship series we did at Southport Christian Church last August. We put together a series of four worship services in the format of an old time radio program, sort of like Sunday morning worship meets A Prairie Home Companion.
The series was wildly successful. Attendance grew at each of the four services. But more important, I think, than the number of folks attracted, we realized that we had hit the sweet spot in using the gifts of the congregation. Our hammer rang true, and we knew we had found a way to effectively share the gospel with the gifts available to us.
We have times in our lives when the hammer rings true, when we know we’ve hit on something for which we are especially well-suited and well-prepared. However, in order to hear that distinctive sound, we have to take a number of swings and misses. Along the way we’ll strike several blows that glance off the side.
Still, there’s nothing like the crack of a bat that connects on the sweet spot or the ring of a hammer swung true. It will always bring you back for more. It’s the shot that keeps you playing the game.
When was a time that you felt your hammer rang true?