My family and I recently built a house with our bare hands. No tools. No heavy equipment of any kind. Our bare hands. Let me explain.
Since 1951, my family (starting with my father’s parents) has built a from-scratch gingerbread house each Christmas season. We mix flour, sugar, salt, ginger (of course), etc., roll out, cut shapes, (door, shutters, chimney, etc.), bake, and assemble.
Each year, my parents build one ... one of my sisters and her family build one (two, actually, since it’s hard for a family of eight plus spouses and next-generation children to share one house) ... and I build one with my family.
For seventy-one years, our family has continued to use the same pattern. There are exceptions, however. A few years ago, my wife added the first of her personal touches – our family (the gingerbread version, that is) standing on the coconut-covered yard. Soon after, the next touch arrived. In honor of our great state, a moose stands in our yard munching on a tree.
Each of the four houses our families build sport different candies and unique touches. However, the pattern remains the same.
In life, many variants exist. People speak different languages, live in various locations, enjoy culture-specific styles, and practice unique customs. What is true on a global scale is also true within a home. While the similarities between family members are likely significant, differences can exist, also. The same is true with other earth-sharers. There are similarities and also differences. Yet we all share the same pattern. Better stated, we share the same Designer. God formed you. God formed your neighbor. God designed you out of His love and purposed a life for you to live that you can use to bring due glory to His Name and joy and love to others.
You and I do not live life in the exact same way as do our neighbors, yet we can look to what we share rather than focusing on the differences between us.
Each year, my parents, my sister, and I share photos of our edible masterpieces. It is fun to make the slight changes we each make over the years. But what I really enjoy is knowing that the door, shutters, chimney, and walls that we make, cut, bake, and assemble look nearly identical to those that my grandmother made, cut, baked, and assembled back in 1951. We share the same pattern.
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