So my daughter got this for Christmas. It's a bracelet maker, because she's eight and she likes to make bracelets. I figured I used to make them as a kid, how hard could it be? Um, yeah. Trying to make them myself? Forget it. Explaining it to her? Not so much.
So eventually I hauled out the instructions and looked at them. I'd read a step and then follow it. Read another, follow it. If I didn't watch for knots, they whole thing would become a tangled mess. Which meant periodically, I'd have to stop and straighten the strings. I couldn't skip a step either because then I started making something that looked nothing like a bracelet.
Hmmm...do you see what I started to see? This whole bracelet maker thing was a lot like life.
See, we need God for our instruction, and he left us this wonderful book called the Bible. As I walk out this life he created for me, I need to consult him for each step. And then I need to actually take it. If I'd only read the instructions of that bracelet maker and never actually completed the step, I'd never have wound up with a bracelet. So it goes with us. If we're always gaining the head knowledge but never stepping out in our faith, we'll never get to where God has called us.
Then there's those crazy knots. Unforgiveness. A seed of jealousy. Root of bitterness. Left unchecked, these small tangles can lump together to form some pretty big knots, effectively stopping us in our tracks. That's what happened when I'd forget to check my strings and straighten them back out. We need to make sure while we're walking, to stop and straighten out any tangles or knots that form so we can keep forging ahead to who God called us to be.
As for the steps. Yep. Sometimes we want to skip one, or two...or several. We grow impatient. We think we can get there faster or that a certain step isn't for us. However, we do that and the end product is no longer what God created, but what we created. And everything he creates is good. I'd so much rather be that than a life filled with holes and missed steps. Each step is there for a reason. Follow it.
So as I sat on my couch, working through each step and checking for knots, an amazing thing happened. Oh, it didn't look like it at first, and I gotta say, it took a whole lot longer than I'd thought it would, but look:
We finally got a bracelet. It's not perfect. There's some wavy areas. Some that are tighter than others, and a few that look a bit lumpy, but it's finished and fulfills the very purpose it was created for. A thing of beauty for others to enjoy:)
God doesn't need perfect, he just needs us to follow.
And there was one last thing I learned. If I'd never sat down and figured out this whole bracelet making thing, I'd never have been able to explain it to my daughter. To instruct her in the way of making a bracelet so that she could turn around and make one. We learn these lessons not only for the path God has called us to, but to help others along their paths.
Pretty neat, huh?
What are you stringing together in your life?
And, who remembers making these as a kid?