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Do you remember Home Ec?  Those classes set me on a frustrating journey in which I eventually had to acknowledge that I was craft challenged.  It all started in sewing class.

We began by making an apron.  Step by step with the help of the teacher, the apron came together.  Basically all I had to do was hem the edges and attach the strings.That completed we progressed to an easy shift dress.  A little more complicated, but as it was only straight lines I was able to manage it.  That success prompted the desire to make more things.  A pantsuit that was so completely frustrating that it reduced me to tears.  A dress that was never finished and again more   An the list goes on and on.

When you pick up the pattern at the store and choose the fabric all full of hope and expectation all things seem possible.  Then you have to lay it out, in the proper way and cut it out.  So far so easy.  But then, comes the hard part, pinning, stitching, getting the seams to match up…. no matter how simple the pattern professed to be by the time I was finished with it, the project was a complete mess.

A few nights ago I read this in 2 Timothy chapter 1…..

13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

I have to wonder, do I sometimes make a mess of the pattern of sound words which are meant to guide my faith?

We know that the Bible is open to a degree of interpretation and all of us are guilty from time to time of reading it with an eye for what we want it to say.  (I do the same thing with prayer convincing myself that what I pray for is God’s will.)  

The important thing here is what Paul goes on to say to Timothy when he advises him to keep by the Holy Spirit the sound pattern of faith he has been taught.

The difference between those sewing projects at school and at home is that at school the teacher was there, guiding me, showing me where I went wrong, helping me when I tangled the bobbin thread–again.  When I took on projects on my own, that was exactly what it was….. on my own.  No help needed thank you very much.

That same difference is crucial for our walk as Christians.  We have the sound pattern of words…. God’s word which we can read, pray over, reflect upon and learn from.  The difference for us will be if we attend to God’s word in our own power or with the wise guidance of God’s Spirit, who is our faithful teacher.