When I first joined the group, my mom & dad went out and bought me a Singer sewing machine. What a treasure that sewing machine was to me. My first pattern was a Simplicity pattern; a simple pant with elastic at the waist, and a long vest to match. I have no idea why we chose a hideous dark-gray material, but oh well. I can still remember meticulously pinning the pattern to the material, or was it material to the pattern? Finally, the pattern was cut and sewing began. It was a wonderful learning experience, and my seams weren't all that bad. There were great tricks of the trade learned, like ironing down the pinned pant leg to create a guideline to sew along; and we all need guidelines, don't we?
The days leading up to the 4-H Expo were a bit stressful, as an incomplete garment could not go down the runway. Exaggerating a little, there was no runway; just a hanger on a display. I think it may have been the night before the event, while sewing the red binding/piping on the hideous grey vest, the material began to unravel! Nice, now what? My mom could pretty much make anything all better; she doubled up the piping and stopped the unraveling, saving the vest from being reduced to a mere pile of threads without form.
Patterns. I woke up with this word on my heart one morning, so I wrote it down in my journal. There are several references in scripture regarding patterns. God instructed Moses in making the Tabernacle, including the furnishings, that it must be executed exactly according to the pattern He would give:
"Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you."
Lampstands were also to be made according to a pattern:
"This is how the lampstand was made: It was made of hammered gold—from its base to its blossoms. The lampstand was made exactly like the pattern the Lord had shown Moses."
We also find other references to the word "pattern" in scripture, both in a negative reference, such as:
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
As well as positive:
2 Timothy 1:13
"What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus."
How about Noah? I'm sure he was extremely thankful God gave him a pattern for the ark, right down to the last cubit! Can you imagine how the ark might have turned out without God's specific instructions of size, shape, depth, width, and construction? God wasn't going to give Noah instructions to build the thing, then just say "Ok Noah, you're on your own." No, God didn't leave Noah out on a limb, and He won't leave us out there either.
Conforming to the pattern of this world can cause our lives to unravel, much like the hideous dark-gray material of my first ever attempt at fashion; and who wants to turn into a clump of frayed threads without form? Thankfully, we have a pattern of sound teaching, a pattern established through Jesus who not only shows us the way, but is The Way.
If I remember correctly, I received a "Very Good" red ribbon for my entry into the 4-H Expo. This of course, was thanks to my mom who saved that garment from certain death. How thankful I am that Jesus came to save us from certain death, He is the giver of life. Follow Him, and He will bind our unraveling, so we may be a new creation according to His pattern; we are cut from the same cloth, a garment of praise.