Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Lesson from a Fitted Sheet

 "a good fold"
Ezekiel 34:14

I asked my daughter to help me with the laundry today.  It's not the first time, of course.  My kids have their own chores over the course of a day and a week, and one of them is my "laundry assistant," and one of them is my "kitchen assistant".

They both know how to do the laundry and the dishes of course, but those are two chores I like to have my hands in.  I guess I want them done just right, ya know?  And that includes folding the laundry, and then they put it away. 

But I needed to get ready to go today, and she was ready.  So I tossed her a fitted sheet and asked her to fold it for me. 

Now, I don't know if you have any experience with folding fitted sheets.  If you're not the laundry do-er in your house, maybe not.  Or maybe you do the laundry, but you're one of those who just sort of squishes or crumples the sheet to get it to fit in the cupboard. 

For those of you who don't know, there's a trick to folding a fitted sheet.  You have to tuck the corners inside each other, so that you have a rectangle one quarter the size of the unfolded sheet.  One corner of this rectangle will be rounded, and the others squared off.  From there it's pretty easy to fold it as you would any rectangular object. 

There are videos online if you can't quite visualize all that. 

Anyhow, my girl doesn't have a lot of experience with this.  She has seen me do it many times, but I'm not sure she's ever soloed.  She kind of grinned at me suspiciously as I handed it to her and walked out of the room. 

Now, the reason for the grin was twofold:  First, she knew that I knew that she didn't quite know what she was doing.  But secondly, she knew that I know that she's got a bit of an obsessive-compulsive streak.  Not only would it be hard to for her to do it perfectly, but that fact would drive her crazy. 

And as I left the room, I tossed these words over my shoulder:  "There's a lesson to be learned from the folding of fitted sheets!"  She called back, "What's that?"  And I poked my head back around the corner of the room, grinned at her and said, "Life's not perfect."

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of control in my life.  My schedule, what I buy at the grocery store, my bedtime, what I wear each day, who my kids interact with, etc.  Not everything of course.  I don't buy caviar when I go to the grocery store, because I know it's not prudent.  But that's my choice.  I have control over that.  And of course, I get sick occasionally, or my car breaks down, or my dog and my cat both die in the same month, but for the most part, I'm sayin', the events of my life are largely in my control.  And that fact sometimes lulls me into a happy little complacency here on this earth. 

And I don't know if I've got the same obsessive-compulsive streak that my girl does, but I do know that she didn't get that from her father. *

 { * Except when it comes to their artwork.  
They're both such perfectionists when it comes to their art! }

And that's why it occurred to me all of a sudden that it does us good to be reminded that we live on a fallen planet.  That while we make our lives as good as we can here, it's not perfect, and the better is yet to come.  I read someplace once ~ maybe C.S. Lewis ~ that for those who are going to heaven, life on earth is as bad as we will ever know.  And for those who are destined to spend eternity apart from God, life on earth is as good as they will ever know. 

I'm grateful for the reminder that my life here ~ no matter how much I try to make it as good as I can ~ is far from perfect.  He's got something even better for us.

~ "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
    For indeed your reward is great in heaven" ~
Luke 6:23

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