The Little Things

I let the little things in life bother me sometimes. When it comes down to it, getting frustrated is not worth the effort. My energy can be better spent pursuing a long-term goal, and the time I spend feeling upset is a huge chunk of time I can’t get back. Can these moments be overcome with a few simple acts of obedience?

I’ve been learning about obedience and discipline for the greater part of the past year. The idea of complete, immediate, and total obedience without hesitation, compromise, or resistance, as Abraham’s example shows in Genesis, is amazing to me. His faith is credited to him as righteousness (Hebrews 11), in comparison to Lot, who did a lot of hem-hawing. To see God at work and then just to follow, no ifs, ands or buts, is as pure a servant’s heart can be.

Obedience naturally leads to self-control, or what I think of as “discipline,” or maybe more appropriately, “self-discipline.” When Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” He wanted Peter to know that he was forgiven and all’s in the past so he could live for Him starting right then. In the hardest moments when I’m just about to fall into a slump, I picture God asking me the same question and I respond, “Yes, I love you more than (whatever concerns are in the moment).” In deciding it is so, I can tackle whatever difficulty I’m facing with a renewed energy.

Then there’s life’s mundane chores, which are my Achilles heel. When matters are too big for me to handle, it’s easy for me to toss it to God as a hot potato, but it’s when things are just small enough that I drive myself nuts trying to control the whole darn thing. It’s the same reasoning that applies in how I come alive dealing with an emergency, but get slayed by the daily routines of life.

Something about the exigency of a sudden occurrence appeals to me far greater than the constant faithfulness of the everyday.  When life demands action, there’s no time for thought, and consequently no pressure of perfection. When what I’ve got is all I’ve got, that’s all that anybody’s got. But in the day-to-day, I feel pressure to get everything just right especially if it’s something I ought to be able to handle. But that just means I’m losing sight of how even the mundane is part of God’s plan.

No thing, big or small, falls outside of God’s plan. When something as ordinary as washing dishes or making a trip to the grocery store comes up, it’s not for naught that I do them. To dwell on the monotony of my circumstances is to forget the big picture. And I suspect it is a greater demonstration of faith to trust and obey rather than to ask “Why?” of God all the time.

God is there in the big things. God is also there in the small things.

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