Numbers 15:37-41 – What Are Your Tassels? Do You Have Your Tassels?

Posted: September 13, 2016 in Book of Numbers
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Numbers 15:37-41

Tassels on Clothing

How do you remind yourself of things? For me, I am a list person or an electronic calendar person. I often tell people that if it is not on my electronic calendar, it does not exist. This means that I have become so dependent on my calendar list of to-do’s with its reminder warnings that if it’s not on my calendar list of to-do’s then I will not remember to do it. That’s just for appointments and deadlines for doing things. On a day to day basis at work, I make very detailed lists of to-do’s for that day. I just don’t want to forget even the smallest detail of things I have to do this day. The calendar gives me the wide view of what I have to do this month and my handwritten daily to-do lists are the small view of what specific steps I have to take get my to-do list today.

 

One of my lists that I utilize is an extremely important one.  It goes to the core of my responsibilities as chief accountant for my company. Although it is not the totality of what I do, I am responsible for getting our books closed out each month and issuing the financial reports for the month to our management team and to our parent company in Japan. It is the most outward and visible sign of what I and my staff do. Needless to say, it is extremely important. In order to get that done each month, each member of my staff, including myself, has specific tasks that they must perform so that we can get the books closed in two days and get the various “slicing and dicings” of reports done in the two days after that. It is a lot of work in a short period of time. Just so that none of us forgets critical tasks in that process that could bring the validity of our financial statements into question, we have month-end checklists. Checking off those tasks means that we have done what we need to do to get the books closed and the financial statements issued. The task list is also gauge of how efficient we are being during month-end closing. Because of my team’s experience at doing this now for quite a while, we have our tasks segregated by day as to what tasks we need to get accomplished on Day 1 of closing, on Day 2 and so on. If you are behind or a task takes too long, you can see where you stand on getting all of a day’s tasks done on that particular day of the closing cycle. When you get behind, it means either longer hours or being even more efficient on getting the remaining tasks for that day done. It is a measure. To see where you are against the list at 4pm in the afternoon on Day 1 is a good thing. It kind of gives you a measure of where you stand. Oh Lord, what would I do during month-end without my month-end checklist.

 

After having been the comptroller at Fujikura America, Inc. now for 8 years (eighth anniversary will be 10/06/16) and this September 2016’s month-end closing will be the 96th month-end closing I have supervised and participated in, I am pretty sure that I could do our month-end closings now with me eyes closed and just do it by feel. However, even after 95 completed closings, I still use my checklist each month. Sometimes, after having done something repeatedly as I have our month-end closings, you take things for granted and you might miss some routine, simple task in the process and think that you have done it but really haven’t. Maybe I would drop a task from the list without thinking about it going forward. All the tasks on the list are necessary so I need reminding. I need the visual markers. I need reminding. I need a gauge to measure against. I need to see where I am at. I need this constant reminder of what I already should know in my mind that I have to do. But, having it visually in front me at each month-end gives me assurance that I will not forget critical tasks. It gives me peace knowing that I have my list of tasks and that my staff does to. Even after years of doing this – I have been comptroller for eight years, my general ledger accountant five years, my accounts receivable specialist six years, and my accounts payable specialist four years – we each have our month-end checklist that reminds us of what we already know to-do but acts our measuring stick, our assurance, and reminders to not forget during month-end closing.

 

It was my to-do lists, particular my month-end closing checklist that I have in my job as comptroller of my company, that came to mind when I read through this passage today, Numbers 15:37-41:

 

37 The Lord said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. 39 You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. 40 Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. 41 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.’”

 

It is interesting to note that the tassels noted here come into play in the New Testament in the story of the woman with the continuous menstruation. She was healed through her faith in Jesus by simply touching the tassel on the hem of his outer garment that he was wearing. Jesus was a good Jewish boy and observed the requirements of His Father in heaven in every detail. Even Jesus participated in the reminder. Even He who is the same essence as God had the visual reminder. The tassels on the garments were to remind people not to seek after their own lustful desires but to seek the Lord. It is a reminder that we are here to serve God not the other way around.

 

Although we may not wear tassels on our clothing today, we need to establish our own reminders of our own relationship to God. What disciplines do you employ to stay close to God? We have need to have our reminders of what we already know. We need to employ disciplines that remind us of our relationship to God, our responsibilities to God, our responsibilities before God, and our redemption and need for thankfulness before God for our salvation. We need reminding so we don’t forget this important stuff. We need to have disciplines that we employ to remind us of these things. We need to read and meditate on God’s Word daily. We need to pray. We need to have fellow Christians with whom we discuss God’s Word. We need to memorize verses. We need our tassels. We need our visual cues. No matter if we have been a Christian for 20 years or 20 months, we need reminding of the fact that we need to be in awe of our God and the redemption that He gave us through Jesus Christ. We need ways of reminding that our salvation comes as a gift and not by our efforts. We need reminding to be humble before our Lord. We need reminding of how desperately we need Jesus on a daily basis. We need our own tassels! We need our own ways of remembering!

 

Amen and Amen.

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