Tag Archive | be vigilant

Small irritations can lead to big issues.

I’m a walker. It’s my preferred form of exercise. And I try to do it each day for 30-40 minutes. My pace is about 3 mph so I’m not really pushing myself but I sort of enjoy it and know it’s good for me. Therefore, I do it.

But of my two pair of walking shoes, one of them really gives me issues. In the form of teeny, tiny pebbles. I have no idea where they come from. Perhaps my insoles are breaking down and as pieces rub off, they eventually rise to the surface where I feel them.

Though I try to keep walking when I become aware of them, ignoring the discomfort and annoyance, most days I end up sitting on a curb, removing my shoe, and dumping the contents. Of course, as I’m walking it feels like a boulder is in my shoe. Yet it always, always turns out to be a barely seeable piece of sand or other debris.

It’s a BIG problem.

So, why can’t I simply ignore it and keep walking? Why can’t I put up with the annoyance and continue on my way? Because small as it is, it’s still a problem. And to the sole of my foot it seems to be a BIG problem.

I’ve been dealing with this for over a year. And it wasn’t until the other day that the spiritual application finally hit me. (Do I hear a big duh here that it’s taken so long?)

Simply put, little annoyances that aren’t addressed do not always go away. Better to take care of them before they grow into big problems with big repercussions.

The Bible has much to say.

The Bible is very clear about the effect of little things, both positive and negative. James 3:3-4:

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. So here we see that something as small as a bit in a horse’s mouth or a huge ship’s small rudder can easily change the direction of each. And that can be very positive.

But the opposite is also true. James 3:5-6 shows some of the dire consequences that can occur because of small things:

A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

So, what’s the point?

The point is that the ability of something small to accomplish something great is not to be missed. And it works both in a positive way and a negative way.

Back to the pebble in my shoe. Teeny pebble=big annoyance. Enough so that I have to stop every time and empty out the shoe. Teeny pebble=big life lesson and a reminder from God (as outlined above).

For me the point is that it is often easier to notice and take action on the big things that happen in our lives. But we should never lose sight of the little things. They can be every bit as important. The Holy Spirit can speak to you in a dream to pray for someone but that same Holy Spirit may simply nudge you to do an act of kindness for a neighbor.

I usually take note of the big things happening but can fail to notice the every day “little” things going on around me. I want to change that. I want to be vigilant. Sometimes those little things will be warning me about big dangers or changes ahead. Sometimes they are whispers of reassurance. And I need them all.

How about you?

Have any of you had to learn this same lesson about taking note of the little things? If so, please share. I’ve love to know more.


Is your perspective skewed?

I walk once or twice a day as it’s the only way to get in 4 miles of total walking distance. That’s because walking more than 2 or 2-1/2 miles at one time seems to be more than my body can manage at this point due to those pesky aches and pains.

I try to be productive with the time by listening to a podcast, my Bible Study Fellowship notes, or a medical mystery. Sometimes I pray my way through my walk, and sometimes I just look around and enjoy the beauty of where I live.

What I didn’t realize was that I often walk with my head down. I believe it’s because of the sun’s glare. Despite the protection of my visor, the only really effective way for me to avoid the sun’s harsh rays is to tilt my head toward my chest. And that creates an issue.

As you can see…

When walking with your head down, all you see is the road immediately in front of you (Pic 1). That’s okay for ensuring my feet are on level, unobstructed ground. But this position hinders me from seeing what’s ahead down the road and from preparing for a possible deviation in my path, should one become necessary.

Of course, to compensate, I peek down the road every few minutes to get the view ahead (Pic 2). Sometimes, I even see enough to anticipate a possible issue such as the truck parked in the third picture (Pic 3).

But the other day, despite the occasional glimpses that kept me informed of what was ahead, I still missed it. With my head down, I pumped my arms and forged ahead only to go “BUMP” and head straight into…this truck (Pic 4).

How did THAT get there?

The truck had every right to be there. And with my prior glances, I should have been prepared to avoid it. And I assume part of my brain must have registered it was in my path. But without constantly keeping my eyes focused on that all-important object, and with my head mostly aimed at the ground, I missed its nearness until it was too late.

This happens way too often.

With the resounding bump bringing me to an abrupt halt also came a resounding revelation that this happens way too often in our everyday lives.

Minding our own business, not keeping our eyes on the prize (our Lord), or in the busyness of life, we miss warning signs and plow right into trouble.

And that is not something I want to do!

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:12)

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live…(Deuteronomy 4:9)

Here’s to all of us becoming more vigilant in our daily lives. Purposeful in putting God first. Careful in where and how we walk out our Christian experience. And mindful of all God has done for us so that we do not forget His goodness and mercy.

Love to all.