Monday, August 20, 2012

The Straight and Narrow


I bought red checked gingham material for new swag toppers to go on my kitchen windows several months ago. As time passed, I thought several times about getting the material out of the drawer and cutting out and sewing them up but always told myself, “Some other time”. 

 Finally I decided to put it off no longer. The red checked curtains hanging at the kitchen windows had already faded to an orangey-red color from the afternoon sun of many years. They did look pretty tacky, so down they came. Using the old curtains for a pattern, I cut out the new ones. My trusty sewing machine was surely surprised to be woken up from a long time of doing absolutely nothing!

After looking it over and putting thread and a bobbin in, I was ready to start. Nothing much to it. Just a lot of hemming. A lot of sewing a straight seam down a long length of material. It was so simple and actually I suppose a little boring, that my mind began to wander. 

How straight the seams and how narrow the hems. Hmmm. That sounded familiar. The “straight and narrow” part. It reminded me of the verse in Matthew 7:14 that says: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” 

Straight sometimes seems so boring! 

 And that could be both sewing a straight seam or living a life that is straight in line with God’s Word. What seems to get boring to us at times is actually very needful if we are to have a beautiful finished product! To sew a straight line and keep my seams from zig-zagging all over the place was one of the first things Mama showed me when she first taught me to sew. She wanted her sewing projects to not only be usable but to also be pretty. In life itself it sometimes seems boring to always stay on a straight path of obedience to God. But it’s necessary if we want to be able to look back in life and see a beautiful “seam” and not a big mess! 

 Narrow sometimes seems so confining! 

 I’m thinking of several places I’ve been that seemed to be narrow and confining. One that comes to mind was a narrow suspended bridge with metal fencing along each side. It might seem confining. But to me the narrowness was instead comforting! For you see, the bridge was up on Grandfather Mountain and on each side was a drop of about a mile! Sometimes I complain about the narrowness of my life. I would not be surprised to find out someday that God used this narrowness to protect me from greater harm in one way or another. 

 The bigger picture...the finished work. 

 The new curtains now hang at the windows in my kitchen . The straight seams and narrow hems un-noticed now because of the bigger picture of the finished curtains. I’ve not yet seen the finished picture of my life. But I believe that when I do, all the “straight” and “narrow” places will take such a lesser place in the finished work that I won’t notice them. I won’t remember that I sometimes viewed the straight or narrow places as tedious or boring. I will just be fascinated with the beauty of the finished work that God has done in my life.

May God bless you real good is my prayer!



Anna Hanley said...

Hello from Millbrook NY, What a wonderful posting.Love the red and white gingham. I have red/white gingham curtains too. Anna

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

How straight the seams and narrow the hems! I love it . . . it almost sounds like a favorite stanza from a favorite hymn (no pun intended).

Beautiful thoughts, Marilyn. Hanging on for the bigger picture, my beautiful finish!


Sassy Granny ... said...

Life lessons. I love them! God doesn't waste a thing, does He? From the most mundane of our routines He crafts parables that bless our hearts, and the hearts of others.

Thank you. I'll never look at gingham checks again without remembering the straight and narrow.


Melanie Dorsey said...

Yes, there is a simple yet deep message here.

Sonja said...

What a great way to illustrate the truth. I can remember the red checked material as it weaves it's way through your sewing machine... a good visual reminder!

Thanks for your comments on my page, and I've so enjoyed visiting you here tonight.


mississippi artist said...

I bet your red and white curtains are pretty. I like the straight and narrow, I feel comforted by it. Congratulations on having a new daughter in love.