Patterns that you can depend on

Published 4:40 pm Friday, June 12, 2015

I grew up in a home with three sisters.  I did not know what valuable lessons I was learning growing up with those three girls, but I suppose it has served me well as I have had the privilege (and sometimes challenge!) of raising two daughters and am now enjoying three granddaughters.

I remember a lot of things about growing up with my sisters, including the mental record keeping amongst them concerning who had the white meat from the fried chicken last time and whose turn it was this time.

Perhaps that is the reason I still prefer the dark meat of the chicken; while they were having their “discussions” about who was supposed to get the chicken breast I was already enjoying the thigh!

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Growing up in a home where it seemed that every dollar was stretched as far as it could go, an approach that my mother took to keeping spending under control was sewing.  When my sisters were young, she made many of their dresses.  She would cut out all the pieces and somehow make sense of all the parts as she put them on the sewing machine and peddled away until she produced lovely garments for them to wear to church.

While the material, thread and the old foot powered sewing machine were essential to the dress making process, without proper patterns to cut and sew by, the whole process would have been much more difficult, if not impossible to complete.

I recall a few years back when Gale and I were tackling some remodeling projects around our house.  In the midst of those projects I came to appreciate the value of a good pattern–not for sewing, but for cutting carpet.

As we set out to put new carpet in one of the bedrooms, we decided to install it ourselves.  I must admit that I was a bit uneasy about cutting up a new piece of beautiful carpet and just hoping that it would fit.  Rather than trusting my measurements, I chose to pull up the old carpet, lay it on top of the new and cut it to fit.  It worked very nicely!  I do not want to do carpet work for a living, but both of us were well pleased with how well it turned out.  I expect, given our lack of experience in carpet cutting, if we had not used that pattern the end result would have been less desirable.

In our journey of faith, dependable patterns are important too.  Hebrews 11 gives us a long list of some good examples of those who have effectively walked the walk of faith in God during centuries past.  The chapter begins with these words, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for”  (verses 1-2, New International Version).

Those men and women of God from ages long gone by who stood steadfast in their faith are valuable patterns for us to follow as we endeavor to serve God.  This gives us yet another important reason to study God’s Word:  to learn from those who have set such rich examples for us to follow.  May we allow their examples of faith to serve as patterns to build our lives by as we strive to live Godly lives in an ungodly world.