The Small Stuff

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Somebody said that to me the other day. It helped . . . momentarily. I needed reality’s nudge. Being casual on the outside but a fairly thorough and disciplined soul within, I sometimes need to be reminded that few people will even notice the thing I’m camping on. Or care, for that matter. So? So sweating the small stuff can occasionally be a drag.

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A Worthy Game Plan

AN OLD YEAR HAS COMPLETED ITS COURSE. A new year is smiling at us, with twelve months of the unknown. I feel like we’re sitting on the beach, an entire ocean of possibilities, including both sun-drenched days and a few storms with howling winds and giant waves, stretched out across the uncharted waters. If you and I let ourselves, we could become so afraid of the potential dangers that we would miss the adventure.

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Living the Truth

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you . . . . Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:12–13, 17)

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Living Life to the Fullest

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:5–6) Our desire, Father, is to be fully present—all there—wherever we are. We want to live to the hilt every situation we believe to be Your will.

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Cracks in the Wall

The longer I live the less I know for sure. That sounds like 50% heresy . . . but it’s 100% honesty. In my younger years I had a lot more answers than I do now. Things were absolutely black and white, right or wrong, yes or no, in or out, but a lot of that is beginning to change. The more I travel and read and wrestle and think the less simplistic things seem.

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Insight

Are you ready for a surprise? You blink twenty-five times every minute. Each blink takes you about one-fifth of a second. Therefore, if you take a ten-hour automobile trip, averaging forty miles per hour, you will drive twenty miles with your eyes closed. I know a fact far more surprising than that. Some people go through life with their eyes closed.

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Roots

There’s this tree in my front yard that gives me fits several times a year. It leans. No, it never breaks or stops growing . . . it just leans. It’s attractive, deep green, nicely shaped, and annually bears fragrant blossoms. But let a good, healthy gust give it a shove—and over it goes. Like, fast. It happened today. Right now the thing is tilted on about a forty-five degree angle towards the north.

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A Parable: Saving Lives

On a dangerous seacoast notorious for shipwrecks, there was a crude little lifesaving station. Actually, the station was merely a hut with only one boat . . . but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the turbulent sea. With little thought for themselves, they would go out day and night tirelessly searching for those in danger as well as the lost.

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Doing vs. Being

MY HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATING CLASS had its thirtieth anniversary reunion many summers ago. Since I could not attend, I decided to blow the dust off my yearbook and stroll down nostalgia lane. I remembered a project we seniors were given before the yearbook went to press back in ’52. We were asked to think about the next twenty years and answer, “What do I want to do?”

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Who’s on First?

IN MANY CHURCHES, Christians tend to get so caught up in a success-and-size race that the primary calling of following Jesus gets lost in the journey. We have skidded into a pattern where the “haves”—the most influential or financially successful individuals in life—and not the “have-nots” call the shots. Truth be told, it is difficult to follow when you’re used to being out front leading the pack.

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