Thursday, July 9, 2009

To Sweat or Not To Sweat

To sweat or not to sweat – that is the question...
OK, I’m reading “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews, our Chick Chat Book Club selection of the month for July. One of the main characters, Jones, a.k.a the noticer, who always turns up just when he’s needed with just the right things to say, the right advice to give, and a different perspective of their life that seems to impact that life almost supernaturally, just spoke something into the life of another character in the chapter I was on last night that really was pretty cool. Jones asked Henry if he had ever heard the phrase “don’t sweat the small stuff?”
We’ve pretty much all heard that one and we all agree probably that in the usual context (things out of our control) that its very true and very good advice. But Jones challenged Henry to view that statement in a different way. Not to negate the meaning of it the way we have always heard it, but to see it in a different light, from a different perspective. We should sweat the small stuff when it comes to the actions we choose to take, that affect others, that affect how they see us, things we are in control of at least in the sense of having that choice.
The choice to make dinner for that sick person at church, or down the street
The choice to offer to run an errand for a friend that is overwhelmed
The choice to take a couple bucks and give it to the person in front of you in line at the store because they’re a little short
The choice to court your spouse like you did before you were married
The choice to ask that friend out for coffee that you haven’t spent time with lately – or that new friend that needs to feel included
The choice to stop, smile and say hello to that person at the table next to you at Panera who looks like they could definitely use someone just to acknowledge they are alive
The choice to sweat the small stuff that you can do or not do that really matter to everyone around you.
We all have a dream, the big picture if you will, of what we want our life to be, and how we want others to see us…. In “The Noticer” Jones said that in this case most of us don’t get that the big picture we envision will be entirely composed of the small stuff – that the big picture will never be a masterpiece if we ignore all the purposeful tiny brush strokes… and a lot of those have been painted into our big picture by others right?
Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you,
The truly amazing thing is that when we do in this context “sweat the small stuff” we not only change our own big picture but we can actually get to be one of the beautiful tiny brushstrokes in someone else’s masterpiece!