I have had a 100 foot rope on my garage floor for about 6 weeks. I had used a portion of it at STORM Camp for a clothes line that I had tied between two trees. The extra 75 feet or so that I didn’t need got wrapped and double wrapped around both trees. With all of our stuff packed up and on our way out of camp, we noticed that we hadn’t taken down the rope. I pulled the truck over…Lisa took one side and I took the other and we unwrapped the rope from both sides, through the now tangled mess in the back of my pickup and went home. A corner in the garage became the home for that mess…until last week.
I was cleaning the garage and needed to tackle the tangles. Whether it be hoses or Christmas lights or ropes or relationships, I tend to dive right in to the middle and start working it out. I know I am not very patient. I know I don’t like “preliminaries” and I don’t like dancing around the main thing. Jump right in, get dirty, get messy and work it out. The tangle was so inviting.
After working it for 15 minutes (really…it was bad), I had reduced the one tangle to two. The side Lisa had taken down from the tree and the side I had taken down. Unfortunately, there was not 25 feet of rope between the now two tangles. More like 2.5 feet. My frustration and irritation levels increased significantly as the minutes wore on. After 20 minutes with little progress I had to stop and reconsider the situation.
Lo and behold, at the bottom of one of the tangle piles was an end of the rope. Since I was at the end of mine, I decided to start there and work back through the tangle. It seemed tedious (going in and out of twists and knots) and time consuming (I discovered that my “jumping right in” had caused some large and “tight” knots) but tangle-pile-one finally got unraveled. Once that happened I was able to use the unraveling of one to quickly unravel pile two. At the end of 30 minutes I had my rope back, in one piece, ready to be used again.
This got me thinking about how I untangle other things…problems and issues of my own as well as the people that come to me for advice and counsel. I am beginning to see how “jumping in to the thick of the battle” often ends up in slaughter (or more tangles) rather than victory. I want a healthy life and relationships and I want that for the people around me as well. Starting at the end (or the beginning, as the case may be) and working it out slowly just might be a better way to go most of the time.
I want to encourage you today to take an honest look at the tangles in your life. Whether they are personal, relational, or situational…see if you can’t find the “end” and then work into the mess slowly, diligently, faithfully. I think it might be better for you than just jumping in trying to “fix it”…or worse yet, leaving it as a mess in a corner of your life, good for no one.
God bless you richly today! May you find peace and joy in the unraveling of your tangles in life.