Whether it's a conversation with a friend, a word that is penned, or a craft that is made, everything we do leaves a stitch in the fabric of time. Join us as we investigate the stitches of the past and present...
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: ... a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak" (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7).
I’ve owned my old Kenmore sewing machine since 1970 and it’s had a lot of use. During most of those years, I wet the tip of the sewing thread and shoved it through the tiny needle eye. No sweat. No problem. Until about 10 years ago when my close-up vision began to get bad. One attempt became three, then four, then five, and so on, as the frustration piled up.
Recently, it’s been even worse, and even with my reading
glasses on I’ve been having a lot of trouble seeing that tiny slot. I’d begun
to wish my old Kenmore had a handy dandy needle threader like the new plastic cased
sewing machine I bought to carry back and forth to quilting. The new machine
has a tiny hook that you insert into the sewing machine needle that catches the
thread and pulls it through the eye. Push, latch, pull and you’re done. Yet, in
spite of how much trouble I was having, I didn’t go out and buy a threader. I
just kept trying to shove my sewing thread through that tiny, tiny, needle eye.
One day, while rummaging in the sewing machine drawer for a
presser foot, I came across a small box. Imagine my surprise when I opened the
box up and found a needle threader! I put the minuscule hook through the eye of
the machine’s needle, caught the thread on it, and looped it right through the
needle. I was ecstatic and slightly embarrassed at the same time.
For over forty years this handy dandy tool lay in my sewing
machine, and I hadn’t a clue it was there. For the last 10 years I’ve been
squinting and fussing and spending way too much time trying to thread my sewing
machine needles. If I had only looked in the accessory box, I’d have found what
I needed to complete the job quickly and easily. Sixteen attempts for each time
I threaded a needle would have been cut down to one.
That’s the thing about us humans. The desire to do something
our own, without help from others who might know better, comes on us at an
early age. Like stubborn toddlers who want to dress themselves, it doesn’t
matter how long a task takes, only that we did it ourselves. And, once we’ve
got that I-can-do-it-myself attitude, we’re often too stubborn to admit that we
can’t do it anymore. We think that we don’t need help, and we don’t go looking
for solutions when we should. This willful human quality is one of the reasons Proverbs
1:5 says, “A wise man will hear, and will increase in learning.”
I knew needle threaders existed. I used the built-in one on the
new machine with great success. I just wasn’t ready to admit that I needed to
use one all the time. Boy, was I
wrong! The next time I start having trouble with a task, I’m not going to wait
10 years to correct the problem. I’m looking in the accessory box, reading the
instruction manual, and working more wisely, not more obstinately.
What about you? Is there a job you need to do more wisely? A
lesson you need to hear so you can increase in learning?