I still remember the moment, standing in the crowded hallway outside my daughter’s elementary school classroom and overhearing three women across the hall discussing plans for a party for one of their daughters, one my daughter didn’t get invited to. One of the mom’s glanced up as they were talking, caught my eye and quickly looked away, their discussion ending abruptly.
Have you ever experienced being excluded from the group or the event? It seems such a small thing. But, small things can have a big impact on my daily walk.
I don’t expect to be bothered by the small stuff. I’d like to think I’m bigger than that.
I’d like to believe I am somehow above the petty irritants in life – things like long lines, traffic jams, people who won’t stop talking (even at church events), meetings that go on and on, appointments that are hard to make – life’s little stuff can be hard to deal with.
It reminds me, it doesn’t take much to bring me down in life.
I’d like to say, only big things bring me down – monsters like ‘911’ terrorist attacks, school bombings, cancer, the grief of war – the stuff that makes even soldiers weep.
But, truthfully, it doesn’t take much to bring me down.
An unkind word can fell me. An almost imperceptible look – what I perceive as a slight – can darken my thoughts and dim my joy for an entire day.
It doesn’t take much to bring me down.
Small wounds – like a tiny paper cut in life – seem to scream for my day’s energies and attention.
They get me off track. They alter my mood. They steal my joy.
I wish I could weather the small stuff better.
I wish I could hold firm when I start to lose my perspective – when truth gets fuzzy and hurts or irritations get blown out of proportion.
I wish I could control my thoughts when they wind up like the Ever Ready battery and set up a ‘Repeat’ button in my mind – replaying the unkind word or negative scene.
I wonder is there a better way?
I wonder how can I keep from being taken down – how can I weather the small storms?
I wonder, can I press the ‘Stop’ button when the messages replaying in my mind are unkind?
I wonder, can I forgive when I hear the bitter word that assaults me?
I wonder, can I chose to stand in faith when I’m falling in weariness and weakness?
I want to keep standing firm when the small storms hit me.
I want to forgive even while I feel the pain from the unkind word spoken.
I want to chose patience when my mind is screaming ‘hurry up’.
I want to take the next step even when I’m not sure exactly where I’m going.
I want to chose hope even when my circumstances tell me ‘all is lost’.
I want to choose the better way.
I think the better way looks like trusting God even when my heart cries out to fear.
When my resolutions wane – when my faith grows weak – when I find myself toppling – I chose to fall to my knees. From this position I chose to pray for courage, for hope, for strength to stand back up – strength to face even the little stuff in a better way.
It doesn’t take much to chose to call on God for strength.
“To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without fault and with great joy!”
**Lord, Today we give You the small stuff – the stuff that irritates us, that hold us back, that drains our joy. Lord, we ask for Your strength to endure, Your Spirit to ignite us, Your grace to renew us moment by moment – to find the better way – Your way.
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