“Raker’s Thumb” and the importance of self-evaluation

I’m not big into raking.  I will do it when necessary, though, and I found it necessary last week.  And as usual, I contracted Raker’s Thumb.  Yes, I completely made that term up just now.

Raker’s Thumb — a term soon to appear in medical dictionaries worldwide, I am confident — strikes the flap of skin between your thumb and first finger. A raw spot quickly forms, then the skin comes off, then the raker is forced to deal with a raw, sensitive spot for a week or so.  It’s not fatal — at least, I don’t think it is.  But it’s irritating.

I noticed, though, that I only got it on my left hand.  I have a theory.  Being right-handed, I think I unconsciously twist my right wrist a bit to better utilize my upper arm and shoulder.  When I switch to the left side, I put more pressure on my thumb.  Hence the raw spot.

I don’t know how many times I have raked leaves. Hundreds, probably.  And I’ll bet I got Raker’s Thumb on my left hand only, or much quicker than on my right, every time.  I just never noticed before.  That’s what being desperate for an article topic can do for you, I suppose.

Maybe it’s a lesson for me.  Maybe I’m not doing things as well as I think I am.  Maybe I’m hurting myself unnecessarily.  Maybe correcting my form a bit could yield better results.

That’s why I’m always tinkering with my approach to the work.  I tweaked my podcast this week, for instance.  I’m preaching shorter sermons to the camera than I preached live to this point — I may stick with that.

We must always stay within the parameters of the authority assigned to us in all we do; that should go without saying. (Colossians 3:17). But there is considerable room for variation within the bounds of the guidelines of Scripture. And to that point, doing what we do in His service to the best of our ability is a Scriptural mandate as well (Ecclesiastes 9:10). If a bit of improvement can be made and perhaps better results be found, exactly how would I rationalize not putting forth the extra effort?

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