Knowing God (and my life as a crochet fraud)


My first 'proper' job out of university, many years ago, was for a magazine publisher who specialised in craft and hobby titles. I had applied for an editorial assistant role on a papercraft title and I remember sitting in the interview and being asked if I liked crafts: "I haven't crafted in a long time," I said, "But my mum is very crafty, she's actually a long-time reader of your flagship craft title, and I've grown up crafting. I'd love to get back into it" (Not exactly a lie...). 

"So, you'd say you have an affinity with crafts?" asked the editor. "Oh yes, definitely, an affinity with crafts." I mean, I didn't say I was papercrafter of the year, did I? And it's making cards, that's not so hard to learn about, is it?


So in the years that followed, I became a bit of an expert in the theory of craft. Cardmaking, papercraft, jewellery making, sewing, knitting, crochet - you name it, I knew all about it! And I was good at my job, I was good at the writing and the editing, and the spotting mistakes, and managing contributors, overseeing photography shoots - I wasn't changing the world with investigative journalism, but I was using my journalistic skills and being creative and I really enjoyed it.

Being good at those things, after a while I began getting promoted - I was an editorial assistant on a couple of new launches, deputy editor of a papercraft magazine and a beginners' knitting magazine, and by the end of my time there I became editor of a crochet magazine. If you walked into WH Smiths and picked up my magazine, you would find my face smiling back at you, encouraging you in the art of crochet, telling you to have a go at my favourite projects and guiding you in your crochet journey. 

To the outsider, I was an expert in the field, a voice of authority in the crochet world.

But I harboured a deep, dark secret. Of course it wasn't a secret within our office, everyone knew that I had never mastered the art of crochet. But if our dear readers ever found out that I couldn't get further than a slip knot, I'm sure they would be horrified!

I mean I could talk a good game, I could refer you to some amazing resources, I've watched all the YouTube tutorials, I could even spot mistakes in patterns (it's simple maths, don't you know!) - but could I actually make any of the projects that I raved about in my 'Letter from the Editor'? No, no I could not.

You see, I had loads of head knowledge, but literally zero applied knowledge (heart knowledge, if you will?). I did try. I tried to like crochet, I tried to get my head around it, I loved looking at new yarns and shiny crochet hooks, and admiring all of the beautiful projects that people would make, but really I was a fraud.

I lived in fear of the phone ringing, in case it was a reader with a technical question (I'll just put you through to our technical team - transfers to our sister knitting title whose staff were a bit more knowledgeable!). I avoided meeting advertisers because it would mean pretending that I knew what I was talking about... I was a big, fat fraud. I could do my job, my manager didn't seem to mind that I was rubbish at crochet although they did attempt to train me up with a one day course - yeah, one day was not going to be enough I'm afraid!

As Christians, we can live like this. We can have all the head knowledge: we've done our research, memorised our scriptures, gushed over our beautiful insta-worthy bibles (thanks, She Reads Truth!) and perfect pens, we know all the bible stories and completed Bible in a Year at least once.

To the outsider we must have it all together! 

But if we were put under pressure, all of this would count for nothing because the applied knowledge, the heart knowledge isn't there.

Thankfully, God is not in the business of exposing us, humiliating us or shaming us, but he does want to gently lead us in a real, authentic, relationship with Him. 

He wants that head knowledge to become heart knowledge - it's good to have head knowledge, to pursue understanding and wisdom, but it's nothing if you're not applying it in your life and living it out. You can't learn it, you can't fast track it on a one day course, it doesn't come from books, or teachers, podcasts or blogs. 

It comes from inviting God into every moment, living in relationship with Him, experiencing Him in your day-to-day. 

You could know everything there is to know about theology and totally miss the mark - because knowing about God doesn't even come close to Knowing God - a bit like how knowing about crochet is no substitute for being able to crochet!

Photo by Tara Evans on Unsplash

3 comments:

  1. Found a Latin phrase yesterday which seems to sum this up. Its all about 'corem deo' - being in the midst of, working for and to the glory of God.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Spelling error: it's 'coram deo'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this! Off to ponder the question, am I living coram deo, and what does that look like in reality? Thanks! :)

      Delete

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