Have you ever seen a mess like this? I have. With a wife and two daughters I am a certified “chain knot taker outer,” or whatever the scientific name for that would be. Sometimes you are lucky enough to get a simple, one-dimensional knot that is brought to you before someone has worked on it and pulled the knot even tighter, but most of the time, the mess of chains comes when the person handing it to you is desperate.
I have spent the better part of an hour many times trying to unweave the fine jewelry chains hoping against hope that the chain will free up without breaking. Of course the more valuable the chain, either in its property value or its emotional value, the more of a crisis the ordeal becomes. One time I actually took out tools to disassemble the links of the chain to untangle it and then reassemble recreating the chain with the open links I had. Fortunately this time involved a cheap chain and my fix only had to last long enough to impress upon the owner the need to add a new chain on the Christmas list that year.
Of all the tasks of life, this one has to be one of the most frustrating. Everything is so small; it’s difficult to see, to handle and to work with. Nevertheless the crisis of the moment forces a fixer to take on the challenge and restore peace to a world out of balance.
I’ve been thinking that these knots are like the little things that trip us up in life. What begins as a minor, seemingly insignificant decision or choice becomes a major hassle or blockage. Certainly there are big, overt mistakes, sins, and mess-ups that can be easily seen by everyone; but sometimes we think we are fine with those things little things. Little knots are not a problem until you come upon them, until the tangle presents itself as a problem in the usefulness of the jewelry. Sometimes little lies, little sins, little choices that lead to problems do not show up until they reveal themselves. Often it is not until we find God’s purposes for our lives are being hindered, our peace is being shattered, or our relationships are breaking that we give attention to the tangles in our lives.
In Mark chapter 8, verse 15, Jesus warns his disciples to “Be careful, watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” Yeast is a little thing with a great deal of power. Another scripture reminds us that “a little leaven, leavens the whole loaf.”
Traditionally in the life of the Christian Church, the Lenten season has been a time for some introspection, for looking closely at our life and see where we might be off with God’s purposes for our lives. Perhaps this Lenten season, before Easter, there would be some “little things” that you could give attention to that would solves the issues of life before the tangled web gets out of control. I have no doubt that God is interested in freeing us from the knots that keep from His ways and purposes for our lives. Why not invite God to do some untangling in your life?