“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17)
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
We are all familiar with shoestrings and know how to run the laces through the eyelets. But have you ever had a shoestring where the aglet, the plastic piece at the end, was missing and the strands were frayed? Remember how difficult it was to push the end of the shoestring through the eyelet on the shoe? In fact, you almost couldn’t do it. You tried different things to get it to work, such as wetting all the strands at the end and rolling them with your fingers into a point, or you tried cutting the end off so all the strands were the same length, and so on. Finally, you get a few strands started so you pull some of the strands through, trying to force the others to follow. You might finally get it through the eyelet, but now the shoestring is really frayed. In fact, it can be so damaged that you have to cut off the end, giving you a shorter, less useful lace to tie.
Just like a shoestring, our lives are made up of many strands. Each strand can represent a different area and all the strands together make up our life. But just like a shoestring missing it’s aglet, when we fail to hold to Christ, our lives tend to become frayed and pointless, unable to fulfill God’s purpose. More serious problems can begin to arise the longer we continue on that path. We can even begin to experience lives that are spiritually cut off and less useful to God, our loved ones, and ourselves.
When our lives do become frayed, and to some extent we all experience that from time to time, there are things that we can do that will get us back on track. First, remember who you are, a new creation in Christ, brought about by the will of God through a new birth (2 Cor. 5:17). Second, examine your life to see if there is any area where you need to offer forgiveness to another (Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”) and seek forgiveness for yourself (1 John 1:8-9). Finally, return to being imitators of God through Christ (Eph. 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”).
In the past, many of our behaviors and activities did not add value to our lives. It wasn’t for an overall lack of enthusiasm, because I think most of us can agree that what we did was usually done with enthusiasm. Rather, many times we were giving our attention to the trivial instead of what is meaningful. We were living our lives as if it were a frayed shoestring. You’re much greater than that, so be what you truly are, a new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24).