I’ve decided to make 2009 the year of small things. Let me explain. Today’s sermon is all about the five kinds of hard things we need to do to walk Jesus’ strait and narrow road (cf. Matthew 7:13-14). One kind of hard is doing things that do not have immediate payoff. These are the small things that don’t provide one occurrence at a time. However, repeated over time, they produce huge results.
Instead of focusing on really huge goals this year, I plan to really focus on those pesky little habits that are so easy to procrastinate. My guess is by the end of the year, I will actually have accomplished some pretty huge things.
Some of these small things include daily Bible reading and daily prayer. Sadly, even for the preacher, it is easy to lose sight of these as good habits and instead just do them when I’m preparing for a lesson. The Bible says we should pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17 ) and we all know about those Bereans who searched the scripture daily (Acts 17:11 ).
I’m also thinking about relationships (cf. Philippians 2:3-4 ). I’m going to work on the small things of connecting with other people when I’m around them rather than running to accomplish my next task. I’m terrible at thank you notes. I’m going to work on those. I find it very easy to put off ‘til tomorrow visiting folks. I want to work on that.
Then there are family issues (cf. Ephesians 5:25-6:4 ). Since I know Marita is stuck with me, I sometimes forget that I really need to get off my computer and spend some time with her every day. Each time won’t do much for our relationship, but 365 times this year will reap huge rewards by 2010. One small thing I’m really going to work on is doing what she asks without complaining. I usually do what Marita asks, but I also let her know what a big sacrifice it is. That needs to stop. Then there is time with my kids. Trina toddles up with a book to read; I want to read it. Ethan and Ryan ask to play a game; I’m going to do it. Tessa asks to talk; I’ll pay attention. Not to mention family prayers. I hate to admit it, but after a couple of years of doing really well, I’ve let that slip some. It’s a small thing but in the long run, repeated over and over again, it will produce big results.
I guess this has been more of a confessional than an article. However, I hope you get the point. Sometimes we let the little things slide because each separate occurrence seems to accomplish so little. However, put them all together over a year and discover a huge payoff and reward.
Would you like to make 2009 the year of small things too?