I love to sew. In fact, as I sit to type this, I have a sewing project laid out on the bed behind me, waiting for me to get back to it. It’s Angela’s birthday present – a new dress-up dress.
There are several ladies in our church who also enjoy sewing. And, they have machines that I drool over, especially their embroidery machines. These fancy machines let you create a design, enter it into the machine’s computer, set it, and then let the machine go. It needs supervision, of course, just in case something goes wrong. But, the machine essentially does the work.
What a contrast to sewing with a regular sewing machine. Or even moreso to hand sewing, like Olivia is doing with the sock doll she’s making for Angela’s birthday. Both require constant attention and interaction.
The embroidery machines are like the sewing machine version of the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie BBQ oven. I’ll never forget those infomercials. “Just set it and forget it!” A far cry from cooking a meal that needs continual attention from start to finish.
When it comes to cooking and sewing, machines like these can be phenomenally wonderful. But, sometimes we get so caught up in our convenience-oriented, hands-off life that we start to believe that God interacts with us the same way. Oh, were we to be asked point blank, we would firmly state that we know God is fully interactive in every aspect of our lives. But, our subconscious argues with our firm statements of belief. And, all too often, our subconscious minds are what truly direct our actions.
Stop and think about it for just a minute. What happens when you lose your car keys? How long do you frantically tear apart the house before you stop and pray for God’s direction in finding them? What about when that discipline problem with your kids crops up? Do you make a prayer for wisdom your first breath before saying anything to your children? Or do you dive in on your own only to stumble back to God in tears of frustration?
Our immediate, gut reactions to everyday life reveal so clearly just how intimately involved we believe God is in each moment of every day. And so very often, those gut reactions show that we see Him as a rather hands-off observer, just hanging around to make sure nothing goes drastically wrong. We see Him leaving us to do the detailed work on our own. We know that if a crisis happens, He’ll intervene, but we bear the moment to moment burden ourselves.
If we were to use the image of a tailor to grant us a parable-like impression of God’s involvement in our lives, I believe we would have to go back to the days of no sewing machines. I believe He would be the tailor who would custom cut every piece of fabric to fit the exact measurements of each customer. I believe He’d be the tailor who would hand stitch every seam with meticulous precision. He would be personally involved in the entire garment from start to finish. And, I believe that is an appropriate picture of just how involved He is in each of our lives.
As we are blessed by the wonderful conveniences of life that allow us to accomplish much with greatly reduced effort and influence on our part, may we not become deluded into believing for an instant that God works with us in the same way. May we remember that His hands are in every detail of our lives. And may we live daily in that remembrance.