Keith Wishum: How to change the world

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, May 26, 2016

“Just a few stitches at a time.”
Sit with me just a moment, please. Let me introduce you to a remarkable lady I met a few years ago — Mae Constantine of LaGrange, Georgia. Mrs. Constantine was a seamstress. To be precise, she made quilted lap robes. So, what is so special that?
Well, for starters, Granny C, as younger folks called her, was 83 when I met her. And, technically, she had been disabled for 28 years, having had five heart attacks. Still she sewed.
Mrs. Constantine’s sewing was also special because she didn’t sew for self or profit. She gave away her lap robes to anybody who might need one. She gave them to those recuperating from illnesses, to her neighbors in her assisted living home, to friends at church.
In just one year, this sweet lady made and gave away 48 lap robes! That’s almost one per week of a tediously made intricate piece of handwork. With 48 people she shared a gift to warm both body and soul.
How did she get so much done? “Just a few stitches at a time,” she said.
A few stitches in the middle of the night when she couldn’t sleep. A few stitches here and there during the day whenever she was rested up for it and her vertigo wasn’t acting up. Just a few stitches at a time until, soon enough, a gift is completed.
There is something to be learned from Granny C. Many of us have grand ideas of noble things we intend to do some day. We just don’t seem to ever get them done. Have you ever heard these?
Someday, I’ll start exercising
Someday, I’ll repair that leaky faucet.
Someday, I’ll return to school to finish my degree.
Someday, I’ll balance the checkbook and pay off those credit cards.
Someday, I’ll start doing my homework and studying for tests.
Someday, I’ll stop drinking — or smoking, or cussing, or _______.
Someday, I’ll start going to church more regularly.
Someday, I’ll change the world.
We all play the game. But longing for something will not make it happen. Wishing won’t make it so. “The sluggard craves,” Solomon says, “and gets nothing” (Proverbs 13:4). “But the desires of the diligence are fully satisfied.”
Everybody wishes. The diligent do. Plodding steadily along, diligence delivers.
Grand, good things get done just a few little stitches at a time.

Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church of Christ, Americus.