Parents tend to judge their parenting based on “big things.” By “big things,” I mean major events and accomplishments — getting the child baptized, getting them through college, getting them married well, keeping them off drugs, etc. But it has been my experience that “little things,” daily spiritual maintenance and life guidance, tend very strongly to lead to the “big things.”
Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” I like the way the New American Standard Bible reads here — “a root” instead of “the root,” as it is translated elsewhere. It is silly to suggest that the love of money is “the” cause of evil in this world. But it is certainly “a” cause — and one that rears its ugly head in all sorts of circumstances.
Run toward your fears. That’s some billboard-variety advice I get while driving past the local university. And as we all know, multicolored roadside signs are the most reliable source of life advice these days.
Lean into it. That’s how the same basic sentiment was expressed in an article I read recently. Except this wasn’t written by a nameless, faceless intern. This was from an expert in the field of stress management who woke up one day struggling mightily to manage his own stress.
Last week in this space I encouraged the “one-talent” Christians out there to not lose heart, but rather to rejoice in the “small things” they may be able to do in service to God and to the church. I thought I would follow up today with some specifics.
Again, these are things that virtually any Christian can do.
Without trying to take sides in the gun vs. anti-gun argument, allow me to cautiously make the following observations: one, a gun tragedy is guaranteed to bring people out of the woodwork, quoting outrageously misleading statistics and claiming that all gun advocates are essentially guilty of murder; two, gun advocates will try to “put things into perspective” by saying the problem isn’t actually as gigantic as it is made out to be, and essentially come off like jerks who think a dozen or so dead children is not that big a deal. In short, everyone still believes what they already believed, they’re just louder about it.
I find facts a lot less argumentative than rhetoric, so let’s look at some facts.
All the best work in the garden is done on your knees. Not the biggest work, mind you. Not the work that’s most noticed. I said the best.
Pete Rose is a poor excuse for a human being on multiple levels, but there’s no doubt he is an expert in the science of hitting a baseball. I saw a fascinating conversation between him, Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez the other day. The three of them together have about 10,000 major league hits more than I do, and I’m always in favor of listening to experts.