The other day, I had my old sewing machine in order to mend some clothes. As I threaded the machine, it brought back such fond memories of hours of cutting and pinning and creating.
When I was a teenager, I tried my hand at sewing, as in, sewing all my own clothes.
I had patterns from the companies of Simplicity, Butterick, McCall’s, and Vogue. Each would include several articles of clothing and I would be all set for a new outfit once I selected the fabric of my choice.
Patterns were meant for repeated use.
So when an outfit turned out good, I would keep the pattern as I could make several outfits very similar but slightly different. We were a family of girl cousins and the patterns were passed around to save us the expense of always buying our own.
Later in the day, I read …
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:13, NIV)
Pattern, as used in this verse and defined in the New Testament Lexical Aids, is “a delineation, a sketch, a concise representation or form, an example.”
Paul had taught young Timothy beliefs that were important. Now his desire was for Timothy to use those same teachings as a model, a pattern, in his own ministry. Timothy would teach those same biblical doctrines but he had the freedom to express it with his own personality.
I have been blessed as I was born into a family whose members loved God. I had a pattern to follow as my Gram, my mom and my aunts, lived each day making deposits into our lives. Truth was shared. Scripture was read aloud. Prayer was sprinkled throughout the day as we prayed before each meal, before bed, and then as need arose.
My life may not look quite the same as any of theirs but the same pattern has been the foundation from which the fabric of my life has been cut. And hopefully the pattern has been repeated in the lives of my children.
The pattern, in many ways, can determine the outcome.
Those very deliberate means by which my young heart formed its belief, and began its own journey of faith, became the pattern by which I lived when the storms of life howled. I held onto them as my protection, my security. They were the one constant in my life when everything was shifting.
The pattern in many ways, determined the outcome – my heart pinned to His.
May we keep the pattern of sound teaching. May we use the pattern to shape the lives of our children. May our lives be the model they will need to see today so they will make the right choices tomorrow.
Keep the pattern.