Saturday, April 22, 2023


My daughter handed me the dainty, silver-chained necklace.  It was a mass ball of knotted links. 

“Daddy! Can you get the knot out of my necklace?  It gotted tangled,” bequeathed the 4-year-old voice of my long-eyelashed third born child.

Upon seeing the incredible knots in the even more incredibly small chain, I didn’t see any possible way of clearing the constellation of twists, loops and ties.  However, when I glanced up from the jumble to see the big shining eyes of my sweet daughter, I knew that I had to at least attempt the job.  I figured, worst case scenario, I could throw it in the garbage and go buy a new one and she would never be the wiser.

“How did this happen?”

“I swinged it and swinged it while I was twirling in my ballerina shoes and it gotted tangled.”

“Maybe you should have your mom do it?” I asked, “She has finger nails.”

“She is making supper and she said you should do it because if you can spend all that time getting knots out of fishing line then you can fix my necklace.”

“Little does she know, I just cut the fishing line and start over,” I mumbled.

“What daddy?”

“Nothing,” I sighed and left to find a needle.

My eyesight has deteriorated over the years. It used to be that I would mock my father for complaining about low light conditions.  I would tease him about having to decide whether he should have his glasses on…or off, and how it seemed to make no improvement in his eyesight.  I then ridiculed him for needing bifocals and mumbling complaints under his breath about how he “couldn’t see.”  I no longer mock the man…as I am now the man. 

I used a magnifying glass, along with a light strapped to my head, to improve my eyesight and tackled the task, using a needle to carefully pull links apart.

I worked for DAYS at untying those chain linked knots.  It was excruciating.  The work made my eyes hurt, my neck hurt and it forced me to drink more coffee to heighten my senses…which, in turn, forced me to take a break and use the little boys room more than usual…another sign that I have become more like my father. 

Each evening, for days, I would attempt to untie at least one knot.  Each morning it was the same, night and day struggling with the knots, whenever I had a free moment.  After several days of effort, I finally cleared all of the knots, and laid the long delicate chain out before me in a moment of pleasured relief.

“Carissa?!, I got your necklace fixed!” I sang out from the depth of my soul. 

“You did it, Daddy!?”

“Yes, I did, sweetie!”

“Wow! You finally got it!?” my wife asked admiringly.

“I sure did!” I asserted with a deep throated manly voice.

“Thanks Daddy!” my daughter cheered as she took the necklace and began twirling it while spinning in her ballerina shoes.

I do not have to tell you…that I kept the needle handy.

My daughter’s actions are really no different from my own.  In her case, her decisions to mistreat her cheap necklace resulted in a messy series of knots.  In my case, my poor decisions in life have left my own life in a messy series of knots.  As difficult as those knots in my daughter’s necklace were to remove, the poor choices in my life have left me with even more difficult knots to reconcile.  Yet, it is astonishing to me how many times I walk away carelessly twirling the necklace of my life adding yet more knots into the already knotted mass. 

In 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, Paul emphasized the importance of making good decisions to the people of the church in Thessalonica.  Specifically, Paul calls them to obey God.  That is the way to living a knot free life.  I fear that, too often… mankind… myself primarily, has made it a practice to justify our actions not caring about the disobedient knots that we are creating for our lives.  Jesus wants us to live lives that are free of knots. The free life is a life that is lived in obedience to God.

May we come to obey Jesus and pursue the knot free life that he desires for us to live.

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