So, I’ve done a load or two of laundry in my day. In fact, I’ve probably done at least a load or two of laundry per day for over 25 years. Having a large family has helped me do my share and more of this chore.
I’ve learned a lot. Separating is imperative if you have a new red shirt. With six males in the house, pink was never a dominant color choice. Another thing is that you can’t overload the bin. If you overload the bin, well, the laundry doesn’t get clean, the washer starts to thump, and bump causing the launderer (me) to run frantically from one side of the house to another before something snaps (in the washer of course.) One more thing. Never, ever, ever put a white sock in the load with dark sweaters. Never, never, never.
Why is this you ask? Because one seemingly innocent move like putting a white sock or two in a dark load of clothes can create hours and hours of painstaking removal of lint from dark sweaters. Either that or the sweater gets put away for years. Or the sweater is worn with lots of little white dots all over it. It’s not a fashion statement to be envied…trust me. I’ve worn those sweaters a time or two (or two hundred).
I have also wasted precious time trying to de-lint the sweater that was a cohabitant of the sock(s) in the washer. Yep, I’ve wasted precious, precious time using every form of lint remover there is in an attempt to remove what could have easily been prevented by just not putting socks into the washer. “A stitch in time saves nine” is one way of saying that… a white sock kept out of the washer saves a lot of annoying lint removal later on…
And why do I blog of this today? What’s the deal with the white socks? Well, I just did a load of black clothes and almost dropped a pair of very white wooly socks in to the washer. Yikes. I did get them out in time, but immediately was thankful for the analogy. Because why?
Well, I was thankful for the analogy because words…words are much like socks. One white sock in a load of black, one bad apple in a basket of fruit, one ill-timed ugly word in a conversation….they all seem to have the same effect….lots of wasted energy and time.
See, ill-timed, reactionary, words that aren’t thought through, well, they have an impact much like the white sock in a sea of black. They waste a lot of time, energy, and ruin something that was good. Words matter. Spoken and unspoken, they matter. What we think and feed in our minds matter way before they come out of our mouths in words.
I love the way the Bible likens words to a rudder on a ship, for they do steer and lead and direct not only the people in the conversation, but can impact those we never even meet. Words matter. The Bible also likens words to a fire…fire can warm or be useful, or burn and be incredibly destructive. Just ask the people who love the beautiful mountains of North Carolina….a campfire can be a beautiful thing, but a fire untamed, un restrained, in full-on fury is terrifying, destructive, and devastating.
So, am reminding myself to be careful. I’ve gotta be careful with fruit ….(note to self: gotta get those bananas out of the fruit bowl today..either to make banana bread or trash them because they will soon lead to some bad apples.) Also, I’ve gotta be careful with socks and breathe a huge sigh of relief that I just rescued the black sweaters from a pair of hidden white socks. And, way most importantly, I’ve gotta be very very careful with the words I speak out loud and even the words I don’t say.I’ve gotta filter the words I hear through what I know to be true. I’ve gotta be careful with the words that are spoken to me in anger and hurt and be determined to have a teflon spirit. I’ve gotta be careful with words. Period. What I let in. What I let out. What I do with both.
Words are rudders. Words lead the heart, the mind, the soul, and we are to guard our hearts with truth. Period. Reactionary words happen. They just do. Forgiveness needs to happen then too. But more than that, it’s such a great thing to be well equipped with truth from the Word of God that acts as a filter, a dryer’s lint guard if you will, to get all the fluff out of the way and stay clean, dare I say, “pure”. That’s what the Bible says…How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word.” Psalm 119:9. And if it can keep a young man pure, well, am thinking that it will definitely have a great impact on keeping others on the right track. So here’s to throwing away bad fruit, keeping laundry sorted, and hiding God’s Word in our hearts, (order of importance reversed of course!)
And if you get a chance, read Psalm 119. The whole thing. It’s awesome. Talks about how God uses His Word to revive our spirits, enlarge our hearts, keep us on the right track. His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. His Word refreshes and gives hope.Hiding God’s Word in our hearts, meditating on it and filtering our thoughts through the treasure of Truth found in the Word can prevent so much waste in our hearts, minds, and lives. Yes, it’s definitely worth the time to read…Kind of like those white socks…being mindful can prevent a lot of annoying wasted time, energy, and even heartache later on. And unlike the effects of white socks on sweaters, the impact of words can last as long as the memory allows and can lead us down paths that are difficult to redirect. Here’s to letting that ‘lamp unto our feet’ help keep us on good paths. Just a few thoughts as I did my laundry and rescued my sweaters from a few white socks.
Psalm 119 – ALL oF it is so good, but below is just verse 11 through 32.
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O LORD;
Teach me Your statutes.
With my lips I have told of
All the ordinances of Your mouth.
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.
I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.
Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.
Open my eyes, that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law.
I am a stranger in the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.
My soul is crushed with longing
After Your ordinances at all times.
You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed,
Who wander from Your commandments.
Take away reproach and contempt from me,
For I observe Your testimonies.
Even though princes sit and talk against me,
Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
Your testimonies also are my delight;
They are my counselors.
My soul cleaves to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.
I have told of my ways, and You have answered me;
Teach me Your statutes.
Make me understand the way of Your precepts,
So I will meditate on Your wonders.
My soul weeps because of grief;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
Remove the false way from me,
And graciously grant me Your law.
I have chosen the faithful way;
I have placed Your ordinances before me.
I cling to Your testimonies;
O LORD, do not put me to shame!
I shall run the way of Your commandments,
For You will enlarge my heart.”