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Tent-making by a famous saint

The lands of St. Paul
The lands of St. Paul
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What if the apostle Paul had posted a sign for a sale of his tents, back in the day? Can you imagine that? And why would a great Jewish scholar and best all-around educated man make and sell tents?

Paul, the tent-maker and Paul, the theologian, what a combination. Yes, he dealt with tents and theology a lot. He made tents to support himself while he traveled to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. He studied about God through living in prayer, preaching, helping others establish churches, encouraging and correcting them.

After his conversion experience with the living Christ on the road to Damascus, Saul who became Paul dealt with theology through prayer, the study of God's ways, and obedience. It led to much suffering for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Lord had prepared him for this. And the apostle Paul felt himself unworthy of Christ, who to him was life.

I find that knowing that St. Paul also made tents reminds me of what is really important. He never sought any title or any special financial support from churches. He never put out fund-raising appeals. He looked to God to provide through those who wished to help him and who promised to do so.

The apostle Paul never sought wealth or high position for himself, though he became known around the world and has been studied exhaustively through the centuries. He said, "For me to live is Christ." That was all to him. Making tents was a means, not a goal. The finished tents were like sails of a great ship of purpose. Finishing them helped him pursue obedience to God whom he knew through the Son.

St. Paul appeared to be an unremarkable man, even weak physically, and of hardly any means. Yet by the Lord's strength, this servant of God soared by faith for the gospel of the Christ he loved, trusted, and taught.


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