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The Master Recycler

Updated: Mar 3

The Alpena News


MAR 5, 2022


Everyday Faith

There are some people that God brings across your path that just change your world and make it better.

My old huntin’ buddy, Pete, was one of those people.

Pete was getting up in years and wanted to get his “dream” cabin built — nothing fancy or elaborate — just something that was functional and would get us out of the elements when we hunted together.

Normally, there were four of us, so we all got enlisted into Pete’s “dream”.

Pete was our version of Red Green. He had a way of getting things done, but it wasn’t conventional — ever!

Pete knew this project was coming, so, a year prior, he had done all his cutting of logs from a stand of pines so they could dry. In the meantime, he contacted us to see if we could help him out.

In September, we got together to work, and the first task was to get the logs criss-crossed and cut out for the cabin walls. We each took our hand at the chainsaw and hauled the logs over to the building site — and Pete supervised! The cabin walls came together nicely, and it started to take shape.

Once the walls were up, we took a chainsaw and cut out a doorway and where the windows were going to be. We sat down for a break and marveled at our handiwork and how quickly it was coming together.

While we were sitting there, someone noticed a pile of garage doors off to the side. And, of course, the natural question was what was going to be done with all the garage doors. Pete informed us that those doors were actually going to be the next phase of the project.

He had seen these garage door panels laying by the side of the road with a “free” sign on them. Well, “free” and “by the side of the road” was pretty much an automatic for Pete. He pulled over with his trailer and loaded the garage door panels and took them. He explained to us that he wanted to take those garage door panels and nail them up on the walls of the cabin for insulation.

We looked at each other incredulously and knew better than to say a word. We started hauling these garage door sections into the cabin and nailing them into place on the wall. When one was done, we would get another one, stack it on top, and nail again until that one was securely in place.

I don’t remember if we had enough for the whole place, but we had a lot of them, and they all made it up onto the walls.

We finished securing the garage doors inside. But we were all wondering, “How are we going to get the windows cut out with metal doors covering the openings?”

Once again, Pete was fully equipped to handle that.

He pulled out a chainsaw and started cutting! Sparks were flying everywhere, and we stood off to the side trying to stay out of the way. The saw was cutting through the aluminum, and it was a sight to see! I’m not sure how many chains we went through, but Pete was equipped, and the window openings got done.

We were all laughing hysterically as the whole scene unfolded before our eyes. We thought that putting in the windows was a project for another day, but Pete directed us to another pile that had been covered up. Underneath the tarp was a collection of windows, also from the side of the road.

Pete had measured each opening in the cabin, and they matched up well. Shockingly, we were able to slide the windows in and tack them in place.

Over the course of several weekends, we were able to get the cabin intact. It was either made from resources on Pete’s property or supplies he had found along the side of the road somewhere.

Pete’s “dream” cabin may not be what most think of when it comes to a dream cabin, but it was a wonderful place to hunt from. We were warm, dry, comfortable, and had a place to kick back and enjoy each other’s company. Pete didn’t waste anything!

In a spiritual sense, God truly is the master recycler! He delights in taking the underdog or the person from the “other side of the tracks” and making their life into a thing of beauty. God is absolutely into restoration and recycling.

I’ve heard people say that God won’t want anything to do with them because of the things they have done. Well, I understand guilt and what it can do to a person, but that is absolutely false.

God wants wholeness and well-being for each of us. People can make some really bad choices, and the results may not look appealing, but he still wants the best for you. He wants to restore you to fullness.

He can do it, and he will, if you give your heart to him.

He is, of course, the true master recycler!

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