WONDERFUL THINGS: Small things can result in big changes
2019. A New Year. A fresh start. A time for changes and, of course, resolutions. Perhaps, you are among those who have made a resolution for 2019. Lose weight, stop smoking, save money, be a better husband or wife. Resolutions are all about change. It is seeing areas in your life that need to improve and resolving to do better. When we do this, we usually pick “big” things. And that’s OK.
But here’s what’s interesting. The biggest part of our life does not consist of the “big” things but the small — small moments, small decisions, seemingly small actions and reactions. I would not hesitate to say that the small things will probably make up 98 percent of your life in 2019.
There is a saying in the Song of Solomon that reads “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom" (Song of Solomon 2:15). Solomon speaks of how the little foxes can destroy the tender blossoms of the vineyard. One writer draws this out when he says:
“The enemies may be small, but the mischief done great. A little spray of blossom, so tiny as to be scarcely perceived, is easily spoiled, but thereby the fruitfulness of a whole branch may be forever destroyed. And how numerous the little foxes are! Little compromises with the world; disobedience to the still small voice in little things; little indulgences of the flesh to the neglect of duty; little strokes of policy; doing evil in little things that good may come; and the beauty and the fruitfulness of the vine are sacrificed!”
Almost all of life consists of small moments and small decisions — not momentous moments and grand choices. For the Christian, 1,000s of small choices to follow God, to trust God, to rest in his love or … not. That will be 98 percent of your life in 2019. It will not be momentous decisions and big choices and grand sacrifices. It is not the few big resolutions you might make that will define and shape your life in 2019, it is the 1,000s of small ones.
Will I watch this TV show now or will I pray? Will I sleep with this guy or girl? Will I obey the Lord or follow my own desire right now? Will I spend this money on myself or ask the Lord what to do? Will I pray this morning or check email? Will I say hello to that person who looks sad or just keep moving? Will I read my Bible for five or 10 minutes? Will I go to church or will I sleep in? Will I be honest with this person or will I tell a small lie? Will I repent of this sin or try to hide it? Will I get angry sitting in this traffic or will I thank God? He is in control of all circumstances. Will I love this person in front of me today? Will I give this week at church? Will I look at this website (which I probably shouldn’t)? Will I speak words of kindness to this person who has hurt me? Will I answer my spouse with kindness or harshness? Of course, the list goes on and on.
The follower of Christ knows that they need Jesus all the time — we are really weak and dependent folks. For it is in the small moments and choices that our hearts and lives are truly shaped. You see if we only turn to Jesus for the big things, we will hardly turn to him at all. But if we look to Jesus and his grace in the small times, we will always be looking to him, always crying out to him, always trusting him. And when this happens, we change in big ways.
James Calderazzo is pastor of Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church in Destin. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.