What a strange contradiction is a human being, with its weak will and strong desire! We least wish for that which is the easiest to obtain, and that which is the farthest from us is the object of our greatest longings. Who is satisfied with the obtainable? Who would admire an edelweiss growing in a home-garden?
There is no satisfied ambition in this life. He who at morn sighed to reach a distant mountain height stands at noon on the sought-for pinnacle and turns his longing eyes to higher and more difficult ascents and plans to reach them at even. (Fortunate is he if the even comes to him.)
Do the duty that lies nearest. The easiest advice in the world and the most difficult to follow! How much pleasanter to ignore that familiar, tiresome work close at hand and reach for something higher, of more seeming importance! How often we do so, and how miserable the result!
I have been thinking today how easily we may pass by longed-for opportunities. We have some pet ambition, some desire that we see no way of gratifying. Unseen forces are at work; a strong Hand takes the thread of our life and weaves in and out and turns it here and twists it there, until all unknown it has almost reached the longed-for goal.
Then our willful selves take a hand. Some little question of right or wrong comes up. It is such a little thing, and desire is strong. We take the thread from the Hand and weave with our untrained fingers, for such a little way. But the pattern is wrong just in one place, so small a place no one will ever notice. It does not matter, or it does not seem to matter. But the Great Weaver knows we have woven out and around and beyond the longed-for position, and the opportunity is gone by forever. When our spirits look back on that woven tapestry of life and read the pattern as it was intended, I wonder how many places will be woven wrongly, how many neglected opportunities will show, how well or how ill will appear the finished work.
I often think about this tapestry of life and wonder if the pattern is all laid and planned. Perhaps it is a beautiful, bright-colored pattern, flower-strewn and garlanded; perhaps it has soft greys and tans; perhaps it is dark and sombre. I fancy the warp and woof is all ready, just so much for each tapestry, colors all selected, pattern all planned. Under the Master Weaver we begin our work slowly and painstakingly. Every line and curve of the pattern is known to Him; there can be no mistake when He guides the threads.
And the tapestry is begun. Bit by bit, day in, day out, the work goes on; some portion of the pattern is finished. But mayhap the colors are dull at first. Our nearsighted eyes cannot see nor understand the meaning nor the beauty of the great plan as a whole. We chafe and fret as we watch the work go on. We cry that our lives must have some brightness, there must be some beauty in that growing pattern.
Alas! if our discontent becomes too great, and we take away the thread from the Master's guidance. Here, where the Lord sought to have us weave a grey, we substitute a rose-color. That is delightful; how great an improvement is our way upon His. We weave on gleefully for awhile; then comes the discord. The rose-color, woven in, never to be released, after all does not harmonize with its surroundings.
Looking back, we see what we could not see before 'tis done, that the change we have made has spoiled the pattern. Desperately, we strive to remedy the mistake. Without reflection, without comprehension, without higher help, we try one color and then another, but as fast as one is woven in we see some other would have been better. So we weave on, adding mistake to mistake in a miserable effort to rectify the first. How many tire, at last, and give up all effort to make a fair piece of work. Despairingly or indifferently they gaze backward at the soiled and ruined tapestry, or look forward to the future with no desire or effort to improve upon the past.
Others, working with a desperate defiance, cry, "We will make the life-tapestry beautiful. We will enjoy these beautiful colors that lie at hand." And they weave them all in. After a time the brighter colors are gone; they have used them all; and oh! what endless measures of sombre colors must be woven in with no brightening tints to cheer the weary workers. In vain they cry out at the hardness of their fate. They have enjoyed their sunshine all in one long day; now come the shadows.
Or again, I fancy the weaver growing impatient of the slowness of the work, weaving double threads of brilliant colors, breaking, snarling, entangling them, and, too, life's best forces are sapped, the threads give out, the pattern lies unfinished, the weaver's hand is still.
Perhaps, when the work is done, the weaver, looking back at his work, cries unto his Master, "Why need my life have been so wretched? Look at the ruined tapestry with its hideous combination of colors. Was it for this that You taught me the art? Was it for this You placed me at the loom of Life?" And the Master Weaver answers, "Nay, not so; fair and good was the tapestry I planned for you. See, here is the pattern as it would have been under My guidance. Out of your own willful pride came that piece of weaving you despise."
But I fancy there are those who, when they have first learned their own weakness, looking at their work, cry, "Our Master, we have done ill. We cannot weave without Thy help. We cannot understand Thy plan. We know our work is wrong, all wrong. The tapestry is ruined. Were it not better to drop the threads and destroy what is done?"
But the Master, looking down at the pitiful results of human weakness, smiles. "Nay, My child, you have made mistakes, but your work is not ruined. Know you not that, 'out of evil, good may come'..." And, "all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord? Are not all things possible to Thy God? Can I not make even sin turn to My glory? 'Tis true, the wrong is done, but My skill can weave the threads remaining until, altho' the pattern is changed, it need not be less beautiful." Then, under His guidance the human weaver begins again, toilingly, taught care and patience by his earlier carelessness.
And the tapestry grows strong and fair and beautiful, and we, looking on, cannot see the one spot where the weaver erred. It is forgiven and forgotten by the Great Master, but the weaver knows, and knows too, that from that early error good has come, because, at once the faulty threads were put in the Master's Hands, for He alone could use them aright.
This was written by a lady who passed away in 1936. What is shared here is very simple, yet profound. As we strive and struggle through this life, we all make mistakes. We all can relate to what is shared in this analogy of a tapestry. Isn't our aim to 'let go and let God?' To come to that place of total commitment and trust where we finally let go of the threads, where we stop thinking that we can handle it on our own, and we gladly relinquish control to our heavenly Father? I know that is my hearts cry. I hope that you will find the same kind of encouragement in this little analogy that I found.... God Bless, Cathy