Who dares despise the day of small things…
I have resisted for as long as I can. I must throw in my two sense about some of the things I see happening in our nation right now. Colin Kaepernick, the never-Trumpers, and grumpy old men…what do they all have in common? They despise small beginnings. In Zechariah 4, the people are chastised by the Lord for their ungrateful spirit. They are ungrateful because the rebuilding of the temple has not moved quickly enough for them. They wanted the Temple to be rebuilt. They supported this movement. But when they saw how little progress had been made, they were consumed with negativity. They may have had a point. I don’t know. But the Lord’s reproof of them suggests that their anger with the lack of progress stole away from them a spirit of gratitude and left a spirit of bitterness.
Never-Trumpers do not feel like Trump is the perfect candidate. Ok, I will grant you this. There is a lot that I don’t like about him though for a balding man such as myself, I might be tempted to covet that hair!!! The Never-Trumpers are refusing to support Trump because he does not measure up to their standard. And they want the perfect candidate, a cross between Ronald Reagan and Billy Graham I suppose. But rather than supporting the only candidate that might possibly move things in a way they desire, because they can’t have everything they want, they work to dismantle his campaign.
I remember when football was about football, but not anymore. Colin Kaepernick is protesting the nation as a whole by disrespecting the National Anthem. But wait a minute. America just overwhelmingly voted for a second term for President Barack Obama. Our nation has come so far since the days of slavery and “Bloody Sunday” when African Americans were beat senseless by armed police just for their color. I know racism still exists. I have seen it first hand. When I was in college, three salespersons in Dillard’s asked me if I needed help. Each time, I let them know I was just with my friend and pointed him out. None of them went to help him. The only reason that made sense was because he was black. They absolutely refused to serve him. As a white male, I was shocked. My friend though, was quite familiar with this treatment. It was a disgusting thing to me. It literally made me sick. I know racism still exists and unfortunately it probably always will. But I have to acknowledge the progress. My friend was not beaten for being in the store. He walked around freely. He did not end the day hanging from a tree. Another person finally helped him and there was no mob waiting for him outside. That might have been the case just a few decades ago.
Kaepernick has every right, I know…I know. I have heard that and I support his right to do what he is doing a thousand percent. However, he is not protesting racists. He is protesting against the nation. I have freely admitted that we still have a great deal of work to do, but hasn’t our nation come a long way. Can we celebrate that? I am not saying for anyone to be content with where we are, but to protest the nation is to deny the progress made. It is despising a small beginning though I would not call the progress revealed in the contrast of “Bloody Sunday” and the 2nd term of Barack Obama a small thing.
Ok, that’s enough politics. Now, let’s talk about those grumpy old men and just so you know, I am one some of the time. Grumpy old men or grumpy old women (forgive me ladies J) are not dealing with the national issues of politics and racism. They are just dealing with the small issues of life. My mention of political matters is not for the sake of politics, but to shine a light on a spiritual issue that is so prevalent today. As a society, we are failing at celebrating small victories. We despise small beginning. When we have a goal whether it is social justice, turning the country around, or completing a project with co-workers, if our attention falls too much on what has not been done rather than appreciating the progress that has been made, we are despising small beginnings. We are so upset that we haven’t seen the big victories that we never acknowledge the small victories.
Your life might not be where you want it to be, but there are still things to be thankful for. It’s all in our perspective. The difference between a grumpy old man and a joyful, encouraging, strong man is perspective. The latter are able to address what still needs to be done while celebrating what has already been accomplished, not matter how small. It’s the difference between joy and depression, laughter and tears, sanity and psychosis, a smile and a glare.
Many times in marriage counseling, couples become discouraged because they have so far to go. I would remind you that just because you have a long way to go doesn’t mean you haven’t made significant progress. Some things take time and it starts with the little things.
When we celebrate the small things in life, we are acting in faith. We trust that we are moving the right direction and one day, we will get to the place we want to be in life. When we only lament what still needs repair, frustration sets in with the belief that the end goal will never be reached. One is a perspective of faith. The other is the absence of faith. And if faith is the evidence of things not yet seen (Hebrews 11), then when there is no faith, things do not move forward.
Perhaps your teenager is not displaying the character, responsibility, and cleanliness (maybe smelliness too) hat you want to see. Don’t ignore these things, but don’t obsess over them either. Find places to celebrate, not matter how small. Celebrating little things is like fuel to the fire to move things further in the right direction. Maybe your marriage is not what you hoped it would be. Communicate this with your spouse. Don’t ignore them, but also do not lose sight of the good things in your marriage and celebrate these. Maybe you hate your job and probably nothing is going to change any time soon, but is there anything positive about your job at all, even if it is just that you have a job?? Maybe you don’t like everything about your church. Maybe your preacher is bald and talks too much about ice cream J. But don’t let the few things you don’t like blind you to everything else that is good in your church. And when you look at our nation, whether you come from the right or from the left, don’t fall into the trap of obsessing over what you dislike and miss the fact that we are still living in the greatest country on this Earth. With all of its ills, no other country has a system that creates continual potential for a more perfect union.
Celebrating small victories creates the right perspective to keep going. Ignoring small beginnings will cause churches to split over the color of carpet, marriages to break up over the monthly bills, and nations to self-destruct because of a citizenry more divided than united. Let’s face it, nothing comes easy so we must celebrate the small things. When you find the positive, you will find the faith and the strength to overcome the obstacles and keep moving forward. It’s all in the perspective.
Get Pastor Lee’s Book:
Enter Your Email to Subscribe to Pastor Lee’s Blog
and receive the free mini-book: “Breaking Free From Your Past”