Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FOLD (10/08/15)
TITLE: Thirty-nine Ways of Folding Socks
By Ellen Carr
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Well, yes. A friend showed me her method. She lines the socks up, one on top of the other, just as I do. Then she folds the toes up, and folds them up again before pulling one sock top over the other to make a very neat ball. I have to admit that hers look neater than mine, but then, my folding takes about half the time hers does, and it still keeps the socks together.
Curious now about sock folding techniques, I googled “How to fold socks”. Now I was truly surprised. I counted 39 articles about how to fold socks before giving up the count. I watched a video on how to fold socks by crossing them over and folding them one over the other, then the other over the first to make the neatest folded socks you would ever see.
Using this method it took 17 seconds to fold one pair of socks, so it would take three minutes to fold the 15 pairs of socks in my washing basket after an average wash My method takes about two seconds, a saving of two and a half minutes. And how neat does my sock drawer really need to look anyway?
One website claimed of its method, “This sock-folding method is basically life changing'. Life changing! Folding socks a different way can change your life. Really?
All this got me thinking about what really matters. How important is it to have perfectly folded socks, or underwear, or towels, or anything else for that matter? Do we sometimes concern ourselves with things that do not matter greatly?
Perhaps I am not the neatest sock folder in the world. Maybe my towels don't sit perfectly straight in the linen cupboard. There could even be some dust on my mantelpiece or, dare I admit, a cobweb or two in the corners of my house.
Sometimes it is tempting to miss my daily quiet times with God so I can finish the cleaning, or washing, or folding. Other times, when guests are coming, I get caught up with making sure that things are just so, readying the house, or cooking up a storm, without stopping to spend even a few moments in prayer.
Jesus' good friend, Martha whinged to Jesus that her sister, Mary, wasn't helping her with the tasks of hospitality. Jesus was visiting and there was much to be done in getting things organised. Things had to be perfect for their very special guest.
But Jesus calmed Martha with his words: “Martha, Martha, … you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”¹
What was keeping Mary from helping prepare the house and meal? She was sitting at Jesus' feet, listening to what he was saying. And this was what Jesus commended, spending time listening to him.
Sometimes we need to shut our eyes to the seemingly urgent to concentrate on the truly important. Perhaps the socks can stay unfolded for a while, or maybe the time saved by smart sock folding can be spent in prayer. Indeed, we can even talk to God as we fold our family socks, for that is the important thing to do.
¹Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)
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