I’ve been working on a quilt that has been both a source of joy and frustration. The quilt blocks were cross stitched by my sister-in-law, Linda Ford, who passed away a few years ago. Jim’s grandmother, who is also deceased, started the quilting…in fact, this was the quilt that was in her quilting frame when she became too ill to sew any longer.
So its easy to see the joy that the quilt is bringing me…knowing that my hands are touching something that meant that much to them and my stitches are becoming a part of it.
My frustration comes from having to take part of the quilt apart and redo it. I’ve had to remove stitches that weren’t tied off and have come undone. I’ve removed material that was stained and that had been marked on in ink and replace it. I didn’t have the outline that Jim’s grandmother used to mark the pattern so I made up one myself.
These may seem like petty inconveniences and for the most part, I would agree. The problem is that with my eye problems, they are made more difficult, because I can’t work on the quilt for long periods of time. It seems like I go one step forward and two back. I think today I figured out why I’m so frustrated by the quilt…it reminds me of…me!
I am the picture of good intentions. I set out to tackle a task and get off to a grand start. But then, life distracts me. Why? Because I lack what it takes to achieve my goal. I don’t write my goal down, I lack focus and commitment and I’m not willing to sacrifice. The truth? I lose interest and move on to something else.
Oh, sometimes there are things that happen that cause me to go off course that are beyond my control. My health issues prevented me from many things until my eyesight cleared up. But, once it did, did I get back on course? No. With no clear vision of what my goals are, it is easy to lose interest or sight of what I was trying to accomplish.
What goals do I have in my life right now? The first is trying to discern what God is calling Jim and I to do. To study his word and listen for his voice to guide us, wherever it may lead. Others include finishing the quilt…editing my novel…lose some weight…exercise.
How can I make this time different? How can I stay focused and not get distracted?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. – Hebrews 12:1-3
1) Focus…identify what my goal is and focus on it until I complete it.
2) Support…surround myself with those who will support and hold me accountable and make them aware of my goals.
3) Work hard…persevere and see the goal through to the end.
4) Be prepared…know that obstacles will occur and be ready to deal with them so that I do not lose heart and quit.
5) Keep in contact with Christ…I can do all things through the one who strengthens me.
What goals are you attempting to achieve this year? Is it something that you have tried before and not been able to achieve? Is it a new goal that you need prayer and support for? Let’s work together, to strengthen and support, to lift each other in prayer so that we may all run the good race with perseverance and achieve all that God would have us do.