Friday, February 27, 2015

The Lesson of the Solid-Colored Carpet

A couple weeks ago, I had the exciting privilege of choosing options for my new home. I sat down with the Habitat for Humanity Options Committee to look over options such as siding, shutters, cabinets, counter tops, door knobs, vinyl flooring, and carpet.
          So many choices...and so much fun.
Image found here
When we came to looking at carpet, I tried to keep in mind the color of the vinyl flooring I had chosen as well as the color I would eventually like to paint the walls. (Initially, they will all be white.. That comes standard.)
I knew to avoid very light colors as they will very quickly look soiled. I avoided blues, pinks and greens as those colors would too easily clash with some of the paint colors. I settled on what I thought was a very nice shade of gray. I could picture it working with all the other colors I had in mind.

However, my mother pointed out one drawback. The solid gray color would show dirt quickly whereas something rather "tweedy" would hide the dirt for longer. Well, something "tweedy" wasn't an option. I asked.

That got me to thinking. There is an upside to having carpet that shows the dirt more quickly. Since I tend to wait until it is noticeable that the carpet needs vacuumed (and I must confess, probably a couple days after that) before I pull out the Dyson, having the dirt show up more quickly will probably force me to vacuum more often, simply because I will become aware of the need sooner.

What about the "heart vacuuming" that we all need to do? I wonder if perhaps we fill our minds and our lives with so many conflicting messages about what is good, right, needed, wanted, expected, and "natural" (in the sense of "what comes naturally to me"), that everything we do and say is set against a rather "tweedy" background.

Image found here
Against such a background, we can go quite a while before realizing that an attitude we are harboring, or a grudge we are nursing, or an activity in which we are engaging is, in fact wrong - and needs to be "vacuumed" out of our lives. Might it be better to examine our hearts for the conflicting standards that the world wants to feed us and eliminate the ones that are contrary to God's standards?

When it comes to carpet on the floor of a house, a "tweedy" design can be very beneficial. "Tweedy" standards in our lives...not so much.
God's Word gives us a solid background for many of our decisions. When we spend time in His Word, and get to know His standards, we can more quickly see when we are going wrong. This does not mean that everyone is exactly alike. This does not mean being dogmatic and judgmental. It  does mean that God's Word can guide and shape our thoughts so they are clearly in line with His ... and to let us see when something is not.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
What do you think? Can you think of certain standards / attitudes / ideas that we as Christians may accept that sound good on the surface, but in fact lead us to live with a rather "tweedy" standard for ourselves where it is difficult to see that something is, in fact wrong. Anybody care to share?


  1. Great analogy (as usual or always). Been so busy with life, I haven't seen what my blog friends have been doing. Haven't really written anything either...But my father-in-law passed away today, and i'm finding that what the few people I follow are writing is really close to what I'm going through. Thanks. Sorry to be away so long.

    1. So sorry about your father-in-law. May God bring comfort. I've not been doing a lot of writing lately, myself, or spending as much time visiting blogs. There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day... Take care and God bless.


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