From the Kitchen Window - Precision
Words by David Hollows
What kind of a signature do you adopt when signing for key documents, cheques or parcels? Is yours a precise signature or a flourish of one which is almost illegible?
When you are tidying away, do you throw items at random in a drawer or cupboard or do you neatly fold each item to be stored carefully, including plastic carrier bags? Does everything have a place and everything is in that place no matter what?
For some of us precision is irrelevant whereas for others to be precise is part of our DNA.
For some of us precise speech is important, we speak the Queen’s English along the lines of Radio 4 presenters, whereas for others, the local dialect is dominant. For some of us a slap-dash approach to life is adopted, whereas for others intricate and precise planning is essential to daily existence.
In our homes, there is the precision of colour coding the decor of each room and the placing of ornaments.
There are times when precision is essential regardless of the general approach we take to life.
The threading of cotton through the eye of a needle takes precision. Sewing and kitting are activities which require precision if a final item is to be produced.
Precision is paramount for those who work with woods or metals either in the workplace or as a hobby. The world of aerodynamics and shipping could not exist without precision.
The precision of planning and the execution of building roads and high-rise buildings as well as, historically, canals and railways, all these require precision.
Even the correct sequencing of the traffic lights requires precision in order to allow the safe flow of traffic.
Photo by Lance Asper via Unsplash
The Bible includes many references to the art of precision.
At the outset of creation, God knew precisely what He had to do and the order in which this was to be accomplished and there is a balance in the act of creation. For example, on day 1 light was created and on day 4 this was balanced with the installation of the sun, moon and stars. On day 2 the earth and the heavens were separated by the waters and this was balanced on day 5 by the creation of sea life and life in the skies. On day 3 vegetation of all types appeared on the earth and this was balanced on day 6 by the creation of a huge variety of creatures including humans which would survive by eating the vegetation. (Genesis chapter 1).
The details God gave to Noah for the building of the ark for the salvation of the earth were very precise (Genesis chapter 6) as were the details God gave to Moses for the creation of the temple meeting tent in the desert following the exodus from Egypt. (Exodus chapter 26).
God’s keen eye for precision is further evidenced in the details He gave for the ritual sacrifices in the Promised Land (Leviticus chapter 4) as well as the roles and robes of the priests who were to serve.
God continued to provide precise details regarding the foods which could and could not be eaten (Leviticus chapter 10) and the precise details David passed to Solomon concerning the building of the temple in Jerusalem again were provided by God. (1 Kings chapter 6).
In the picnic story involving Jesus and the feeding of the many, the precision is not in the number of loaves and fish rather in the act of prayer Jesus offered to ask God to bless the food and in the number of 12 baskets of food leftover (Mathew chapter 14) Similarly, in the event where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the precision was in the number of 3 days that Lazarus had already spent in the tomb. In order to enforce the faith of those who witnessed the event the miracle had to happen after the third day: in Jewish culture, the soul departed from the body after 3 days which meant that death was certain. The fact that Jesus raised Lazarus on the fourth day proved the miracle of resurrection and the identity of Jesus. (John chapter 11).
The death of Jesus was by no accident in that Jesus had to die during the Passover with maximum number of people in Jerusalem but Jesus died outside the city at the precise moment when the Passover lamb was sacrificed in the temple. (Luke chapter 23).
So, what does this tell us about our God?
That He has a fixation for precision?
We can thank God that precision is important to Him as the scientists tell us that life as we know it could not exist if the earth was not in the precise location and on the precise axis in relation to the sun.
God has given us precise details of how He expects us to live our lives (Exodus chapters 22 and 23) and the ways in which we are to live our lives with respect to each other and with Him (Exodus chapter 20). These are given not to control or manage us but because God knows what is best for us if we are to have the best outcomes for our lives here on earth. He also knows how our lives will prepare us for eternity. We only have to read the news to recognise what goes wrong when we step outside the guidelines God has given us.
Being precise may or may not feature as part of our daily lives but our lives will be enhanced if we adhere to the precise details for our lives given by God and modelled in the life of Jesus.
The following hymn may be useful to you;
Healing God, almighty Father (Mission Praise 226)
The following prayer may be helpful for you;
Eternal God and Father, help us to entrust our past and its failings to your mercy, the present lifestyle we lead to your love and our future to your wisdom. Help us by the power of your Holy Spirit to live our lives in accordance with your guidelines for living as presented in your Word and in the example Jesus gave us, for we ask this in His name.
God bless you