To say Charles was a little particular about things would be an understatement. He would measure a straight line across his flower bed before planting. Hanging pictures in the living room would take hours because he had to measure multiple times to make sure the spacing was even. Every nail and tool on his workbench was specifically organized. I could go on, but you get the idea. I would guess his brain was wired that way from birth, but it was reinforced when he learned machining in trade school. As a machinist, everything had to be made to the exact measurement. No room for error. And he taught his grandsons the same approach to work during the times they spent building Grandpa’s model train display and other assorted projects. “Measure twice, cut once” he would say to my boys. They learned the lesson well. My older son is a respected diesel mechanic; the younger a gifted cabinet-maker and kitchen designer. I even find myself obsessing over details. In my 40 years working in accounting, I would balance the books to the penny, no matter how long it took to find the 5₡ difference on a spreadsheet. This is my father’s legacy. Dad was a wonderful man; a good husband, father and provider, a hard-worker and a good friend to many. But of all his positive traits, the one that seems to come up in conversations more than any other was his attention to detail. We would all smile and nod our heads, remembering affectionately how fussy Dad was.
Our Heavenly Father is concerned about details as well. From the beginning of the Bible and throughout His word, we see time and time again God’s attention to the detail. From the creation of the world to His commandments to His people, not one detail was overlooked, time after time.
How about the building of the tabernacle in the book of Exodus? This is the one that really caught my attention. In both chapters 25 &35, God gave very clear instructions and measurements to Moses, specifying the types of materials and the order in which everything should be constructed; not just for the tabernacle itself, but also for items like the ark, the lampstand, the altar, the curtains and others. Why so many details and why were they repeated? Because the tabernacle was God’s dwelling place among His people. He designed it so that it best displayed His glory. He chose materials that would endure: gold, silver, precious stones; materials that represented His all-encompassing presence. God could have created the tabernacle just by speaking, as he did in creating the world. But He chose to invite the people in following the details and in freely supplying all the materials for its construction. Exodus 35:29 says “The Israelites, all the men and women, whose heart moved them to bring material for all the work, which the Lord had commanded through Moses to be done, brought a voluntary offering to the Lord.”
If we serve the God of details, shouldn’t we consider it a privilege to participate in the details of building God’s kingdom here on earth? Being willing to give the best of ourselves to serving the Lord, spreading His Word, and caring about the particulars of each other’s lives by building up and supporting each other in true friendship and love. Just as in Scripture we see God’s attention to detail, He cares about the details in our own lives. It’s all about the details!