My old friends. My nemesis.

Ever since I was a child, whether building my first plastic model kits of cars, trucks, planes and boats, or as the small Lego sets grew in complexity and size into Lego Technics, or even now as an adult as I place graphics on my cars; stickers remain my foe.

Take my most recent Lego technic build of a McLaren F1 car. The build is complex, but not overly taxing. The design and instructions are logical and whilst to look at the working steering mechanism or to see the pistons move as you roll the model along a flat surface suggest it may have been a hard build, it wasn’t. But alas, there are always the stickers.

The problem isn’t really the stickers, it’s the detail attached to placing the stickers. Details like getting the sticker square, putting the right sticker in the right spot, up the right way and with no curled edges. A misplaced sticker means removal of the sticker and that rarely ends well and most stickers keep some damage marks from being removed.

So, to assist me in my endeavours I use a pen scalpel that allows me to place the sticker on the very end of the scalpel blade and then carefully, accurately, place the sticker; job done. And in the placement of those details, the model is complete, it truly comes to life and it fully fits its purpose. Details.

Life is a lot like building models and placing stickers.

The vast majority of life happens and we don’t need to give it too much thought. We follow the plans we set, we follow the plans of others and we navigate our way through each day; making progress brick by brick, step by step. But it is the details that catch us out.

Galatians 5:22-23 gives us some great advice about those details. It lists for us those details, those pieces of the life puzzle that truly make a difference, that add to the finished works of our lives, that create character and provide flavour for our life journey.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. The details.

It’s an intriguing list, because just like the stickers, as they sit on their sheet of paper ready for use, they appear simple, easy to access and ready to go. But just like stickers, the moment we engage with them, the moment we try and embed them as marker points to who we are and how we approach each day, each conversation, each interaction: well, we start to curl up the corners. We start to crinkle the edges, we start to put tears and scrapes on them and often, we end up putting them in the wrong place. That’s what being human looks like.

But do not despair. Life is about the crinkles, the wrinkles, the bumps and the scrapes. It’s about the search for the right sticker in the right spot.

These attributes of the Christian walk, these detail elements of life are special, and what sets them apart from stickers is their resilience, their reusability and anytime access.

Every day, every morning when we awake, is a new opportunity to reclaim them. Everyday is unboxing a new opportunity to put the stickers in the right place at the right time: it’s an opportunity to deliver on the details. At home, at work, in our social lives, in our church lives; anywhere, anytime, we can live out the details of Galatians.

So when you next see a sticker, any sticker, let it remind you about the details of life.

Live out the details.


This word of encouragement for Christian educators was written by Dean Bennetts, and distributed in The Bridge newsletter in 2023. Dean is the CEO of Adventist Education in North New South Wales, Australia.