Sunday, December 31, 2017


Mama used to “wind off” yarn before she started any crocheting project. She’d fold a piece of paper into a small square and then pull out the end of the yarn from inside the skein and begin wrapping the yarn around the square, turning the square every few seconds. The rotation slowly transformed the square into a ball. By the time all the yarn from the skein had been pulled and twirled in that manner, Mama ended up with a ball about the size of large grapefruit or a small cantaloupe. 

She wound off the yarn in order to avoid having to deal with the inevitable tangles that she’d encounter during the project as the yarn dwindled inside the skein. Untangling the yarn was much easier to do when moving the ball (rather than an  afghan) through the various sizes of loops that were jumbled together. Once all the yarn was on the ball, Mama could crochet efficiently and calmly since the yarn rarely formed anything other than an occasional simple loop that could easily be untangled.

I thought of Mama and her balls of yarn again the morning I re-read the Entanglements chapter in Amy Carmichael’s wonderful devotional book, I Come Quietly to Meet You: An Intimate Journey In God’s Presence. In that chapter, Amy urges Christians to avoid any entanglements that would keep them from being free to serve God. She points out how easy it is to get ensnared by social responsibilities, expectations of others, duties at work and at home, and so forth. The greater our involvements, the less time we have to spend quality time before the Lord—seeking His will, studying His Word, listening to His voice, and learning His ways. Such quiet time spent alone with Him is essential, for that is when we “receive an in-flooding of the Lord’s life…,” she says on page 44.

Thus, you and I must find ways to avoid entanglements that keep us from spending time with Him. And if we’re already ensnared, we’ll do well to find ways out of them, even though that’s awfully hard to do. But we must do it because, as Amy says on p. 46, “We cannot allow ourselves to be entangled and, at the same time, believe that we will have spiritual power."

The beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to decide what we will or will not write in all those beautiful blank spaces on our calendars. We can choose to fill each one to the max, or we can choose to let go of the entanglements that clutter up our calendars and our lives and, thereby, keep us from spending our God-given moments and days on the truly important things: the things that please Him, the things that He commands us to do, the things that will minister to others....

No one serving as a soldier
gets entangled in civilian affairs,
but rather tries to please his commanding officer.
~the apostle Paul, 2 Timothy 2:4, NIV

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