Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Faith Like a Dishcloth

Knitting is one of my little hobbies. I don't know how to make all that many things or do anything too complicated but I love it. In some ways the rhythmic movements are therapeutic. With yarn between my fingers, I fret and pray and (usually) smooth things out in my mind.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the future. We are entering our last year at seminary and then....??? We have no clue. But whatever happens will likely be vastly different than the life we've led for the last four years. We've been praying and seeking the Lord's guidance and direction but answers have not been exactly clear. This is what I've griped and whined thought about a lot lately while I've been knitting.

My latest project? A dishcloth. Sounds simple enough, huh? Except this one was supposed to have a border and a flower in the middle. Luckily someone else had already figured out the logistics of a pattern for me. All I had to do was accurately follow the directions. This, as it turns out, is made *slightly* more difficult by the presence of these small loud people inhabiting my home. So it took me about a week to complete a two-hour project and I wasn't totally certain I'd completed each and every row exactly the way I should have. I undid several mistakes and reworked more than one row all the while thinking, thinking.

Along the way it occurred to me that this is kind of what life is like. God knows what the finished "dishcloth" should look like and has given us row by row directions that we simply have to take stitch by stitch. As I was  knitting and purling, trusting that the author of the pattern knew what she was talking about, I really couldn't picture how it was going to turn out looking like a flower. Much in the same way, I don't really get what God is doing sometimes.

I tried really hard to concentrate and get it right but I was really afraid of making a mistake. One off row will screw the whole thing up, right? No, the Lord said, That's the beauty of it. Even if you make a whole bunch of mistakes all you have to do is keep going and your "dishcloth" will still be totally usable at the end. That's been my life. I haven't always followed the directions to the tee. I've made lots of mistakes that can't be undone. I don't know for sure that at the end of my life it will resemble the flower pattern I'm hoping for but I know that God will be able to use me.

Today I finished the dishcloth and guess what? I made a really unfortunate mistake that made me palm my forehead for a minute, ha ha. But then I fixed it as best I knew how and tried to ignore it.

Guess what else? The flower pattern worked! Definitely inspiration for continuing to follow God's cues in life even when I can't envision the end result. = )

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