Following Directions

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Following directions allows us to produce the best product or reach our destination the quickest and easiest way.

Some people don't read dirctions. Maybe it's because they have confidence in knowing how something is supposed to work. Maybe they look at whatever is to be assembled and decide it's obvious how it's supposed to go together, so following the directions would only slow them down.

Some people don't follow the directions precisely. They have experience and believe they know what they're doing so they can cut corners or skip a few steps without causing a problem.

When I was younger and took up crewel needlework, I was so eager to get started that I skipped basting the fabric edges on which the pattern to embroider had been printed, which kept the fabric from fraying. As I matured I decided to follow the instructions and bast the fabric though it took extra time. I also began to be more careful and deliberate with my stitches.

I think the change came about from seeing so many needlework projects of unknow women stacked in bins or against walls in resale businesses. Most of the projects were poorly executed, which is why I thought they'd been orphaned to a resale shop. I guess you could say I saw the writing on the wall. I didn't want that fate for my handiwork. Later, when I saw the crewelwork of my friend's mother, I knew her work was the standard I wanted to follow.

I recount that story because as I sat staring at my unfinished, framed crewelwork project leaning against the wall with the basting stitches hyphenating the fabric, I thought how much better my work is in anything I do when I follow the directions. That thought lead me to realize that God gives us directions on how to live our  lives. When we follow them we do best.

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