Template – A pattern to make something.. Don’t break the mold!!!
I love to watch the tv show “how it’s made” as they show the inside stuff about how things we use and see every day are made. When you see how something is made you realize the amount of work it took to make it and gives you a deeper appreciation or value of the article. Life has a template also. The Life Template is one that has taken much care and sacrifice to put together and if we understand all that happened to make it we will hopefully have a greater appreciation for it. Back to the “How It’s made” show. I was watching the other night and the first part of the feature was about the fine tuned shaving of an object to make it just right. I was intrigued by the attention to detail in shaping this one object and was looking to see what the finished article would look like. Then they said this is just the “template” for molding plastic to make the actual article. I had been watching them make a template out of a raw piece of aluminum for 20 minutes and then they poured in the plastic and I saw the finished product, a plastic seat for a doll carriage. All that prep work for a plastic seat for a doll carriage seat? It seemed like such a waste of time to be so precise in making a template for something so seemingly insignificant, but it wasn’t. Time warp back to an earlier time when I was opening my oldest daughter’s doll carriage. As I was unwrapping it I noticed a little imperfection in the seat of the carriage. It wasn’t much, but out of all the other stuff I said, “Boy they didn’t take much time and care when they built this!” I noticed the flaws, not the overall carriage. You may say, “Boy you are picky.” I wasn’t noticing anything different than anybody else would should their eyes happen to see the imperfection. What will be the thinking after noticing the less than perfect workmanship? “I don’t think I will use that company for my next purchase. They don’t seem to take care in their production process and the article may not be well put together.”
In our Living Legacy, what will be the production value of our life. Will we be known for doing things right or half right? Will our steps be quality or poor? You may say, “oh you’re talking about being a perfectionist.” No way. There are not any perfectionists anymore anyway. The standard for living our lives has been so watered down and compromised, we wouldn’t recognize quality if it hit us in the face. I take that back. We would notice it, but wouldn’t know what it was because it would be so unusual to see it. I’m not talking a crazy works based lifestyle, but I am talking about doing everything we do as “unto the Lord.” To give the very best in how we live our lives is a legacy that is passed on to everyone around us, and the extra care to do the best is something that will be noticed and appreciated when living our time on this earth. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth regarding what foods to eat and expanded the message beyond food choice to life choices. 1 Corinthians 10:31 or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Now, it doesn’t mean we lose the heart or reason for what we do, that is the core of everything we do. But it does mean that we take time to give our best effort for the Lord, who we love and follow. I have been in churches who think that good stewardship of their monies is to buy cheap quality or get it free. I don’t agree with that. I believe God deserves the best we can do and that attitude bleeds over to the way that workers serve the Lord in something they have volunteered for in the Lord’s service. They get to thinking that what they do deserves a half-hearted effort and the witness to a lost and dying world is “they don’t really care.” But we do!!! We do care!! Let it be seen in the detail of how we build the template for living our lives and the quality and care we take to make sure we do things right. I believe that Christ uses His church to reach the world, but I also believe that our making of the template has flaws and those flaws came from the lack of living a Christ-like life by individual believers.
Now, for the passive aggressive, Americanized Christians who may be reading this. don’t think I for one minute would take the why of doing something for Christ out of the picture and sacrifice that on the OCD altar of perfectism. “I think we’re safe!!” I will say that years ago there was something called Apprenticeship, where someone, usually younger, would learn a skill or trade from an artisan so it could be passed down from generation to generation. You surely don’t see that anymore!! Just remember that the one thing Jesus took care to “show” His disciples was the attitude of being a servant. Part of that servant attitude is best seen in how we do things for the Lord. Do we honor Him 100% with our effort or do we give him left overs? The template for living our lives with honor and Christlikeness has been carefully crafted and stained by blood for safe keeping. May we not dishonor it by watering down our effort and by not taking special care to preserve it for another generation. Christ is our Template!! May our lives reflect who He is to all we meet and may our efforts to serve Him be known as sacrifices of praise to ensure the quality of His message is not compromised. Take care….Take care….Take care….
1 Peter 4: 10 Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: 11 if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything – encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!
The Pilgrimage continues….