Life on the Loom
Her hands ache from the constant, mundane labor that occupies her time. She sits, stoic as if carved in stone, working with nimble precision on the threads that suspend before her. The slender arms of the clock that methodically ticks away on the wall, in the opposite room, seem to move in fast-forward. Light from the blazing inferno that contrasts the deep blue sky creates a dance of shadows on the dirty floor. The small room bustles as a hive of activity as customers come and go, but still she sits, dedicated to the pattern before her. She occasionally adjusts her posture, shifting pressure from the aching muscles in her back. Her hands continue to work in dull, meticulous detail, as she weaves fibers and creates elaborate patterns — foreseen only by the picture she maintains in her head. After months of commitment, the final product emerges; the final thread is weaved, and an elaborate rug is finally revealed on the loom.
* * * * *
Far too often, we observe the raw, unfinished aspects of our lives and calculate knee jerk reactions or base universal conclusions on a single particular. Like the incomplete pattern of a rug, whose final design remains only in the mind of the weaver, so too the intricacy of the weaving of our lives is only known in the mind of God. We run into danger when we attempt to play God and have our turn at weaving our own pattern as we see it should be. The problem is that we operate based only on what has been instead of what could be. I know I’m making a lot of somewhat vague statements, so allow me to illustrate my point.
Almost three months ago now, I sat in a room being interviewed for a job. I walked out of the office into a blue, sunny Floridian day confident that I had landed the job. Everything seemed to be in place, and it appeared to be fitting together perfectly. The next morning I flew out to attend a friend’s wedding and was out of town for two weeks. As my trip was coming to a conclusion, I was gearing up for getting back home, hopefully with a job offer. On one cold, Wednesday morning, four days before I would land back in Florida, I woke up around 6am and noticed a slew of email notifications. Neatly tucked under the bright red notification was an email from the company, thanking me for my interest, but letting me know the position had been filled. Honestly, I’m not sure whether it was the season I was in or whatever, but I was pretty aggravated, and I proceeded to let God know how I felt — every day. I had put so much hope in getting the job that I set myself up.
I landed back in Tampa Sunday night and made the long drive home. Monday morning I woke up and proceeded to unpack and settle back into being home. That’s when I received a call. On the other end of the line was the curious HR Representative for the company that had just rejected me, or so I thought. The lady proceeded to inform me that I had been chosen for the job, but they waited to call me and let me know since I was out of town.
Allow me to explain this better; I received an email notifying me that the position had be filled — by me. I woke up the next five days straight, complaining to God about my dire predicament and all the while, I had the job. I was seeking God for an answer that I already had. The issue was that I was operating on faulty information because I only saw part of the picture — a small portion of the design. My finite perspective only allowed me to see from the perspective of the moment. Once again, this is too often where we find our lives. God was weaving my life from the background while I complained about the incomplete picture that was set before me. Know this today: God is weaving in your life; he is orchestrating a pattern even if it seems twisted and confusing from your vantage.
* * * * *
In the story at the beginning of our discussion, we find a lady who is actively weaving a precious rug. My father has a number of high-quality Persian rugs from the Middle East. These rugs are of the highest quality in the world because of the commitment to detail and the process that each undergoes. During its months, sometimes even years, on the loom, the rug is meticulously woven with precious silks into elaborate patterns. These rugs are appraised by what is known as their knots-per-inch. Simply meaning the number of knots that have been woven by the weaver into a single square inch, of course, the higher the knot count, the higher the quality.
Thinking through this the other day, I came to a realization — quality takes time. For example, it takes somewhere around 13 hours to build a Toyota, but six months to build a Rolls-Royce. Once again, quality takes time. Don’t rush the process that God has in your life
High-quality Persian rugs have upwards of one-thousand knots-per-inch. To pack that many fibers in such a confined space, the weaver must tug at the fibers, causing tension and strain on the threads. Often in our lives, we experience the same. God tugs at us, straining our faith and causing stress in our lives. We can feel the pressure of the process, and all we seem to pray for is for the pain to stop — for the flood of feelings to subside. Remember, though, that it is during those times of tugging that God is weaving the pattern that makes you unique. During the pain of the process, God is forming you to emerge as the masterpiece that you truly are.
Life on the loom is often that time in our lives when we cannot see the pattern or design that God is weaving in our lives. It is that frustrating time of having dreams, aspirations, potential, and desire without the means to act upon it. In one way or another, all of us are on the loom — the final picture of our lives will not be seen until we stand before God. William Arnot put it this way, "The very fact of a Christian being here, and not in Heaven, is proof that some work awaits him." God still has plans for your life. Be mindful today that God is weaving the details of your life, even at this very moment.