Decades back, I learned to not sweat the small stuff. Some problems and irritations just aren’t worth getting stressed over—they merely upset us and nothing changes for the good. Then, we should be a duck—let the small stuff roll off our backs like water off a duck. But last week at Sedona, Arizona, I learned to sometimes sweat the small stuff.
Outside the enchanting Chapel of the Holy Cross, a cactus in bloom joyfully stood in front of the red rock towers and hills. So, I took a pic, intrigued with the intersection of colors and delicacy and mass. Before driving away, I opened the gallery on my phone and noticed a small mistake. At the bottom of this marvelous depiction of nature, a line of parked cars and walking people marred the beauty. Now, I like both cars and people, but they didn’t match the purpose of the pic. So I went back and re-shot it, the one you see above.
A small issue, granted. But a metaphor for our need to pay attention to the small stuff. Sometimes we can then ignore it. Other times we then address it. Like I did. But how do we determine if we should sweat this small issue or not?
First, pay attention to the small stuff. Small stuff can grow. Small stuff can have an impact far beyond expectations. And, God cares about the small stuff, “Who dares despise the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10). Sadly, many of us either blow small things up to huge ones, or we ignore them. Instead, check them out, like Paul said, “Test everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). I guess I’m saying, consider things. All things. Small things too. Evaluate their importance, or lack of it.
Second, determine if that small stuff helps or hurts your goal. In my original pic, the people and cars would distract from the focus. The pic would have lost impact if I hadn’t sweated that small thing. Will ignoring or responding to the small stuff draw you closer to God? Increase ministry? Increase goodwill? Match your short term goals? Will ignoring the rude driver or flipping him off be best? Can you allow some flaws in your preacher to be ignored, or do some require a conversation? You can add to the list.
Honestly, how we resolve the small stuff can vary. A lot. I just challenge you to pay attention to them. Ponder the consequences. And, sometimes, sweat the small stuff.
Kick Starting the Application
Do you typically pay attention to or ignore small stuff. Why? What small stuff does tend to catch your attention? Do you typically bring God and his purposes into determining your response? How can you become more proactive?