By: Mary Elder-Criss
My husband and I were in the process of remodeling the living room. Excitedly, we opened the new entertainment center we had purchased to compliment the paneling. The box promised assembly to be fast and easy, with only a hammer and screwdriver needed to complete the project. As we eyed the directions, and then began pulling the pieces out of the box, we looked at each other in horror. Fast and easy? Maybe for the sadist who designed this thing. For us? Well, let’s just say that our ten minute project appeared as if it was going to take about two hours to complete.
One hour and forty-five minutes later, as we completed Step #23 in Section D, we reached the point where we could almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. That was when Jerry uttered the dreaded words, “Where are the brackets I need for the shelf?”
“The brackets?” I echoed stupidly.
“Yes, Mary, the brackets...they should be around here somewhere. "I can’t get the shelf to stay in place without the brackets. Can you see if you can find them?”
Looking around at all the assorted empty bags and trash that littered the living room floor, I felt my stomach sink. Looking for those dumb brackets would be akin to looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.
“If only I had cleaned up the clutter as we went,” I thought to myself, “I wouldn’t be having all this trouble to begin with.”
Sighing, I began the search, regardless. I simply could not give up and leave all the collected videotapes and DVD’s, not to mention the TV itself, and the accompanying VCR and DVD player in the floor overnight that we had emptied from the old entertainment center. I HAD to find those dumb brackets, so I could get everything cleaned up and back in order.
After forty more minutes of searching, with flushed faces, and temperaments threatening to rise, we at last located the missing brackets underneath the love seat.
“Finally!” We both exclaimed, and finished the project. “If we hadn’t found those stupid things soon, I was going to chuck the whole center out into the snow,” I told Jerry. As he joined me in laughter, we finished organizing the movies, endless wires, and other assorted mess. In celebration, we rented two new movies and cuddled up on the couch that night to watch them.
What had started out as an enormous project with difficult directions, ended as a rewarding evening.
Many times, it is the same with God’s directions. He might give us a task that at first seems totally overwhelming, but with instructions to complete. However, between Step 1 and Step 10, we end up losing our way. We have allowed the mess, the daily distractions that we all face to overwhelm us, and we lose sight of the completed project. We forget that in the face of difficult directions, that we are building something that might not only reward us, but will reward others, as well.
Today, if the Lord has given you directions that seem unclear, take a moment to re-examine your life. Get rid of the clutter that is making it difficult for you to find time with Him, so that you do not waste time searching for answers. Get your spiritual house in order. Then, you too will be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor, in seeing another completed project for the Lord.