I’ve come to believe that it’s all about the small things that are important in ministry. Jesus said, those who are trusted with little, can be trusted with a lot. If you do the little things well, simply put, you’ll do well.
I remember when I played football, my coach made all of us just sit down with a football, lightly toss the football in the air to ourselves, then make sure that our eyes followed the football as it landed in our hands, and as we tucked it away. He made us do that for a little while at practice, then demanded that we do it home for at least an hour. Why? Because a lot of times, when receivers catch the ball, they don’t look the ball in, they look at where they have to run to, and because they took their eyes off the football for a split second, they drop it. It still happens in the pro level. He made us focus on little stuff, so that we can be an overall good player.
Little things are also important when it comes to bad things. You see, last November, I picked up my senior pastor and his family from LAX (I know that was a terrible segue. There was nothing bad about picking them up). They had just flown in from Florida (a 5 or so hour flight). Their 2 girls were troopers and were sitting in their car seat, calm and quiet. I know that I would be far more crankier than they were after such a flight. But of course, on the way back to Valencia, we hit traffic. It was about 8pm, when there shouldn’t be traffic. But we live in LA. There’s ALWAYS traffic. And I felt so bad for the kids and the parents, because they had to endure even more time traveling. After what seemed like forever, it started clearing up. We got to see what was causing such a traffic jam at 8 in the evening. It was a stalled car. One car caused a 40 minute delay on the road. One car!
But, that’s how sin works. One small thing may end up congesting the flow of the spirit in our lives. You hear pastors who fall from grace. But these pastors didn’t start out their ministry thinking, I’m going to steal money from the church or I’m going to have an affair with a parishioner. No, it all starts out by small things we let go unchecked, time after time after time. My dad always told me this analogy growing up. He’d ask, “Do you know how to boil a frog?” (What a weird question…) He’d go on saying that if you put a frog into an already boiling pot, it’ll jump out because the water would be so hot. But if you put the frog in a pot first, and then start boiling the water, the frog wouldn’t quite know what’s going on. He’d sit there wondering, why is it getting hot until the heat kills it.
If we continuously let our hearts go unchecked, we may only realize how far we have strayed when it’s too late.
People seem to be worried about the BIG sins, like affairs, stealing, cheating on a huge test, etc. But those big sins (usually) occur because we let little things slide here and there. We need to check our hearts and examine our lives to see what little things we can comb out, before it snowballs/evolves into a monster.
How do we go about doing that? Prayer. Meditation on scripture. Honest, open heart moments and conversations with God. Great friends who you can trust and will hold you accountable. Small groups within a church. And of course, honest conversations with ourselves.
May we continue to better ourselves for God’s mission and kingdom!!