Friday, March 20, 2015

Follow the Pattern

I'm making a big, lacy crochet scarf. To do so, I'm following a complex pattern. With crochet projects--especially the complex ones--the first few rows tend to look like a mess, even if you exactly followed the directions, long before they look like the picture you're trying to create. The other thing about making a project like this is that, eventually, you're stitching one boring stitch after the other, over and over, and if feels like you're hardly making progress.

But if that were true, then I wouldn't have a pretty, nearly completed scarf lumped up on my lap right now.

I recently heard someone share her testimony about how she came back to Christ after spending years partying. She said she expected the change in her life to be immediate and felt discouraged when she'd find herself back out drinking. She'd repent over and over and keep making the same mistakes. She really had recommitted to Christ, but she had a long way to go. (Don't we all!)

She recently went out to dinner with an old friend from her party days and reported being shocked at the differences between their lives now. She realized that though the progress had been gradual, she'd completely changed from who she used to be and that old life doesn't have a draw to her anymore.

I love the NLT translation of Philippians 3:17, in which Paul tells us to "pattern our lives" after his. Isn't that the trick in life? To keep following the pattern, even when progress seems slow or we have to tear out stitches and try again? That's the way to make progress, whether the object is to create a scarf or a God-pleasing life.

Your Sister

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