Patterns are around us everywhere! We observe the pattern of the traffic lights as green gives way to yellow and then to red, and barring the occasional daring or out-of-control driver, traffic flow from one direction comes to a standstill, yielding to the traffic flow from the other direction. We observe patterns in nature; how the darkness gives way to the brightness of sunlight each morning and how it gathers itself to overshadow us as the sunlight fades beyond the horizon each night. We are guaranteed this pattern, this cycle every day. In-fact, we typically plan our very lives around it. The peak of sunlight streaming through the cracks in our blinds tells us we can no longer put our alarms to ‘sleep’ one more time, as does the shadows of the evening signal that the workday is finally over.
A pattern, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is a “form or model proposed for imitation” or “something that is designed or used as a model for making things”. It provides order, as in the sequencing of the traffic lights; it gives a sense of meaning and direction; and, if observed carefully, can provide a signal for change. We live our lives daily by patterns, what we oftentimes refer to as “routines”. For some of us, our routines work and they make perfect sense. For others, there are signs that a change is imminent as the flow is no longer the same, and still yet for the rest of us, our patterns or routines require major overhauling.
Before you run off to adopt the latest trend, or buy the newest book, or imitate your favorite celeb, or embrace the teachings of the freshly minted guru who claims to have the answers to your dilemma, here is some food for thought. The One (your Master Architect) who designed you and knitted you while you were in your mother’s womb, the One who knows everything there is to be known about you from your birthdate to your death date, the One who has mapped out the pathway for your life, already has a plan, a pattern!
In Psalm 25: 4 through 8, David prayed earnestly, “Show me how you work, God; school me in your ways. Take me by the hand; lead me down the path of truth. You are my Savior, aren’t you? God is fair and just; He corrects the misdirected and sends them in the right direction.”
The moment we recognize that our plans are mere scribbles to the blue-print of the Master Architect, and we embrace His plan, His pattern for our lives, our journey can begin. He is now able to lead us and point us in the direction we need to go to achieve the success that we deeply long for. But He cautions us with this one requirement: “Be very careful to make everything by the pattern [plan; design] I showed you…” (Hebrews 8:5). If we are to live fulfilled, satisfied, without fear and frustration, it is of absolute importance that we follow the prescribed pattern He has established for us.