Have you ever looked at the detail on a tapestry? It’s rare to find them in the United States, but in older parts of the world, tapestries play a role in history.
A quick Google search brought back some information on the longest tapestry in the world–the Apocalypse Tapestry, which originally stretched 459 feet. The richly detailed, colorfully woven panels feature scenes from the Book of The Revelation. Sources say it took five years to complete.
What amazes me about weaving–and weaving tapestries specifically–is that you need more than one color of thread. I mean, sure, you can weave with one color, but then you don’t have a tapestry. You have a rug. It takes colors and combinations of colors, twisting around each other, going over the top of and underneath each other to create the brilliant a beautiful designs that make it worth something.
A tapestry as a whole is an amazing thing, but what if you’re one thread in a tapestry. If you’re one thread in a massive tapestry, you don’t get to see the tapestry. All you see is the winding and twisting and inconvenience of having to deal with other threads. Some threads would be easier to manage. Other threads might be more difficult to get around. But you’d never be able to get away from other threads.
Have you ever considered that’s what our lives are like? Our life is one big tapestry, and we’re one thread.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”
This is what Joseph said to his brothers after he revealed himself to them. His brothers had betrayed him, sold him into slavery, told his father he was dead. Joseph meanwhile experienced every horrible thing you could imagine, but God worked everything out. God had a plan the whole time. Joseph was one thread in God’s incredible tapestry.
You and I are no different.
Today is my last day at my “real” job. It was the kind of job I never thought I’d get. It’s so strange to be old enough to look back on my life. When I was in high school, I didn’t understand what it meant to see God’s fingerprints all over your life. People talked about it, but I’d never experienced it.
After college, maybe I understood it a little better, but I didn’t grasp it fully until I started working at the job I have now. I couldn’t have gotten that job without what I learned at the job before it. The job before it? I couldn’t have gotten that one without what I’d learned as a college student. And so on and so forth.
Every job I’ve had, every position I’ve held, has been training grounds for the next job, and that’s not an accident. That’s me being a thread in God’s great tapestry. And I wasn’t alone. All through my life, I’ve been surrounded by other threads–some going the same direction as I was. Some were going opposite. Others were perpendicular to my path, but that didn’t make them wrong.
I didn’t always understand why I had to walk the same path with so many other people, but now I can look back and see the beautiful design and pattern that God has made from my life and my interactions with other people.
God puts people in your life for a reason. Sometimes it’s to challenge you. Other times, it’s to encourage you and uplift you. Either way, you can learn something.
My life is a beautiful tapestry because God is a beautiful weaver, and He chose amazing colors to weave together in my life. If it were just me, there wouldn’t be much to look at, but because I’ve gotten to share life with so many wonderful people, God has made something beautiful out of something that could have been barren.
People make life difficult, sure, but more often than not, the people you meet will teach you something about yourself. And it’s something you need to learn. I’ll promise you that.
As I shut down my company laptop for the last time tonight, clear out my cubicle, pull off my name plate, turn in my keycards, and walk to the parking garage, I’ll be sad. I might as well accept it. I’ll be a wreck.
I’m sad to leave behind the people I’ve come to love so dearly, but I know this is the right choice. And I’m more thankful than words can ever say for what they’ve taught me about life and living and myself. I’m ready for my next adventure thanks in no small part to them. And the tapestry of my life has been made all the more beautiful because my thread crossed paths with theirs.
No matter where life takes you, never forget the bigger picture. We’re all part of a larger story unfolding bit by bit every day, and all of us have roles to play in the pattern of God’s great design.