If you know me, I’m not gifted at detail oriented anything. I’m a vision person. Now, my husband is incredible at the details. I’ve seen him clean with Q Tips in places I didn’t know existed in our house as well as carefully dot every “i” and cross every “t” in paperwork. I’m grateful for his passion for the things I am not wired to see naturally.
Consequently, the Lord wanted me to have a greater appreciation in the details this year, and for this I am, indeed, grateful. I especially grew in my appreciation when I was on assignment this past month in the dining hall at Timber Wolf Lake. When a camper or leader walks into the dining hall at any Young Life Camp, you immediately get a sense of excitement over the carefully set tables and the impeccable food served at your table. I had no idea all the details involved into the creation of this beautiful picture created three times every day. The salt and paper shakers have a specific place in the centerpiece and should not be tilting over. Plates are plotted an inch from the edge of the table, napkins carefully folded and placed, glasses inspected for spots, tables cleaned twice in between every meal, chairs carefully placed in a 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 position, and presets for each meal have a specific place even down to where the handles face in relation to each diner. For a mom who uses paper plates for most meals and Lean Cuisine meals any chance she gets, this was a whole new world for me.
And then I came across this passage this morning:
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” -Matthew 17:5
I thought to myself, “How many times does God actually use an exclamation point?”
Punctuation, as someone who loves expression of words in writing, is very important. Punctuation isn’t something you slap down on paper carelessly (like I normally do with dinner), but it’s chosen with careful consideration to what and how we are trying to explain. In the above passage, God REALLY wants Peter, John, and James to listen to His son, Jesus. I mean, REALLY. The Lord doesn’t use an exclamation point in the majority of His expression in the Bible, so I’m struck with its emphasis in passion.
The semi colon (my most favorite of all punctuation; yes, I’m a nerd) expresses a continued thought. The thoughts attached are related in subject and yet to not chop off the thought like a period does, it communicates a fluidity of expression. It’s beautiful when used well and thoughtfully.
The period. The end. Next thought.
A comma, a connection that allows space for a compound idea with a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), or to insert an aside or more detail. So awesome.
A question mark to stop and ask, dig deeper, and respond either externally or internally.
And many more.
I’m pondering on these detailed oriented things, cultivating appreciation for the little things that I tend to gloss over; these little, often overlooked things that create a beautiful picture of breadth, depth, and flow. I’m also surrendering what I’ve put too much or too little emphasis on and opening my heart to the editing of His expression in my own life.
I’m asking myself what the Lord wants me to emphasize and be passionate about, as expressed with an exclamation point.
I’m looking at fluid semi colon that connects thoughts that are telling a connected story.
I’m carefully surrendering the periods that end something that is ready to have closure.
And I’m inserting commas to add more details and allow for the conjunctions to add more of a dynamic to my experience with Him.
He is in the details, and I’m thankful to have had this lesson this year.