Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Socks

These kids love Legos. They have Star Wars Legos, Indiana Jones Legos, my brother’s old Legos, McDonald’s Happy Meal Legos, and many, many run of the mill Legos. They can spend a fair amount of time building and setting up scenes for stop-action movies and really enjoy the little worlds they create.

For his birthday this year, Sierra bought Sam a few small Star Wars Legos sets. He knew this was coming; he’d picked them out of a catalog and lobbied her for them well in advance. After the birthday celebration died down he opened the boxes and set to work recreating the picture on the outside of the box.

The next day Sierra sat down to play with him. She wanted to move things around, rebuild, redesign a bit. Sam was having none of it. The set came with instructions. There was even a picture! She wasn’t putting it together right. There was no gratitude whatsoever for the fact that she’d given him this gift but that’s another subject altogether.

With Legos you can’t go wrong. You don’t have to recreate the scene on the outside of the box to feel like your time playing was time well-spent. You can actually toss the instructions; the box even.

Following instructions is not my strong suit. I have a tendency to build up a head of steam and push through, relying on my own understanding which all too often isn’t much. Case in point: knitting.

I taught myself to knit at a young age but had this idea that I couldn’t actually read patterns. I would see things I wanted to make and do the best I could to recreate the original. Considering I was without real instruction I’d say the results were pretty impressive. But nothing like they could’ve been; they were definitely lacking.

Some years later I became friends with someone who let me know how silly I was. That I was making it all much, much too hard. I could read a pattern. She soon proved herself right and I dove into more and more complicated projects.

One day while shopping at Michael’s, Kenny grabbed an oddly colored skein of yarn and told me I should make socks out of it. Hmm. Really? I mean the color was weird. And socks? I definitely did not knit socks. They just seemed too complicated. Then I remembered an article about knitting socks that I’d seen in a Martha Stewart Living magazine at the doctor’s office. I thought I could probably find the article and give it a try.

And I did. It started out pretty easy; just a tube. I was excited to see the strangely colored variegated yarn knitted into an interesting pattern. Not so bad after all. I could handle this without much pattern reading. But we all know socks aren’t just tubes, are they? It was time to turn the heel.

At this point I had to refer to the directions frequently. I couldn’t rely on my own senses, my own judgment at all. It was a little slow going but soon enough I had a recognizable heel. Eventually I reached the toe and had to learn a technique for creating a seamless finish. Nothing I could have come up with or reproduced without the instructions.

The second sock worked up in less time but I still found myself referring to the instructions regularly. The results were worth the effort and it made me think of my own life. I know there are instructions. I know those instructions are often contrary to what I really feel like doing. But truth be told, when we stop relying on our own understanding and take the time to read God’s word, to seek his instructions, what we can make of our own lives will surpass anything we might have had in mind.
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  1. Great devotion, my friend. Proverbs 3:5,6 are amazing verses!

  2. Love the socks, and the message!


So, what do you think?