Don’t get smug if you think you know where we got the term “monkey wrench.” Turns out (No pun intended) that while a search for this origin will yield a fairly instant result, a continued search will soon debunk it!
For example, my search at first yielded that the word originated from public mockery of a wrench invented by famed boxer Jack Johnson. But further searching soon exposed this as a popular misconception. Johnson did patent a wrench, but it was not the ‘monkey wrench.’
The ‘truth,’ it next seems, is that the wrench was named after its c 1858 ‘inventor’ Charles Moncky. Moncky himself, they say, named it thus as a marketing gimmick. But… keep searching and you’ll uncover that Moncky was born some time after the invention. Oops!
Once your search leads you to Solymon Merrick, you might think you’ve hit pay dirt, but eventually even here there is controversy. So… forget it. Accept that we really don’t know where the name originated.
But we do know there is a tool called a “monkey wrench,” and that if you hurl one into any mechanism it’ll probably do some serious damage! Doubt that? Well, c’mon over and let me hurl one at you!
So, whether it’s frustrated mechanics and motors, or picnic planners and poison ivy, to “throw a monkey wrench into” something most usually spells disaster! Unfortunately, as you’ve no doubt discovered, life has its good share of this sort of monkey business.
This Sunday past for instance, like myself, many folk had plans to gather at Lincoln Baptist Church, enjoy sound teaching, worship, fellowship and prayer. But a massive storm system forecasting up to 60 cm snow, freezing rain, sub -30 wind chills and possible flooding impacted these plans with monkey wrench force! So my topic today, rather than contemplations on Sunday’s message, is what to do when a “monkey wrench” hits?
When we look to scripture we see most every saint has his or her “monkey wrench” moments. The first such moment for many turns out to be a very good monkey wrench indeed!
Three boys from Bethsaida had a monkey wrench thrown into their fishing operation aspirations the day they met Jesus! (John 1:35-42). Paul was temporarily blinded by when the wrench hit him on his way to persecute in Damascus. Turned him right round…. inside out… right side up! (Acts 9:1-9). Turns out some machinery needs to be destroyed!
But then there’s those nasty sorts of monkey wrenches, the ones that more readily come to mind. I’ll be looking at those on Tuesday and Wednesday. Till then, have a peek at Paul’s letter to Phillipi. He won’t mind, I’m sure.