A Chip Off The New Block

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘a chip off the old block?’ It’s usually used to compare a parent and child when the latter displays some characteristic reminiscent of the former. ‘Ah so little Johnny likes football? He’s a chip off the old block then.’ The majority of the time it’s intended as a compliment and parents’ chests burst with pride when they hear the words. We’ve done alright, the kids are being taught good habits and following in our footsteps.

I don’t want our kids to be a chip off the old block when it comes to me. They can chisel away at Fionnuala’s to their hearts content but potential sculptors may stay well clear of me. Why? Well, I’m not proud of the old block that was Stephen Black. The more you chipped away towards his core the more you discovered his many flaws and weaknesses. He lurked at the rear of the museum, well away from the masterpieces.

I can chip with the best of them. For the last seven years I’ve been chipping away at my old self, smoothing rough surfaces and working towards a new, improved version of moi. It’s a work in progress and it may never see the full light of day but as for the chipped remnants. They can be swept up and consigned to the rubbish bin, never to see the light of day or be inherited by the hatchlings.

Some might say I’m being hard on myself but it’s a tough truth I’m not ashamed to write about it. We all need to pick up our chisels and work towards revealing the real us buried within that hard, shapeless lump of granite. It’s in there somewhere, you just have to believe and be prepared to put the work in to find it. Change can happen and will. Don’t be an old block, you are so much more than that.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

25 thoughts on “A Chip Off The New Block

  1. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another- Proverbs 27:17. Yes, we all have some rough edges that can be smoothed. Often it takes more than self-determination to make the positive changes we need. Good stuff, Stephen.


  2. You are being too hard on yourself. No one is equal to their worse transgression. At your core you are a good man which is why your wife Fionnuala is by your side.

    Remember if you’re going to beat yourself up do it with a feather, friend.

    Good stuff Stephen!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder if this is where the name “Blockhead” (from Peanuts fame) comes from? I agree we are all works in progress. I might add that it also matters who our sculptor is – if we chose the wrong one, they might chip off a part that is integral to the masterpiece underneath. This is a great analogy, Stephen! Thanks for sharing your journey to becoming a masterpiece!


  4. I think a lot of us feel much the same way. The old block – or the old man – is not a pleasant person. Still raising his – or her – ugly head now and again. It is how we respond to that, which is what counts. For me, it was some hard, home truths from my wife that helped me to see the error of my ways.

    I’m not saying I am now perfect. That’s never going to happen in this life, but we can all change – if we want to – and/or if we have someone who is able and willing to go along with us, and help us.

    You’re doing a good job, Stephen, in sharing and encouraging, in your posts, and your book.


  5. That old block that was Stephen Black has always been loved and his determination not to give up is inspiration to his little chips. 🙌


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