Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shattered to shards

"Smash!" the glass dropped from my pinky finger to the bamboo floor. Glass fragments and splinters scattered across the surface and flew to the edges of the rug.

I set down the bowl of muesli, the liter of water, and the cup of tea that survived the trip upstairs. (I know, I know. But my pinky made a convenient hook until I inadvertently lowered it to place things on my desk.)

What to do? Possibilities that go through my mind in 10 seconds:
  1. Sweep up the big pieces and vacuum the shards. = I need to lug the broom, dustpan, and vacuum up and put them back. Too much work.
  2. Pick up the big pieces and vacuum the shards. = Do I need gloves so I don't get splinters in my hand? Lug the vacuum up and back.
  3. Vacuum the splinters then put the bigger pieces in the garbage. = Lug the vacuum up and back, no splinters, and vacuum the office while you're at it.
Yup, #3. Done. In a few minutes, the office floor is clean, the glass is in the vacuum and the garbage, and I'm splinter-free. Picking up the little things made removing the big things easy.

Hmmm. I'm application-minded: "If we unclutter and obey in the details, would our bigger obstacles and challenges be easier to lift?"

We hope to achieve great things but sometimes get injured by the fragments of a big undertaking. We neglect the small deadly items with the potential to hurt us or derail our work.

Perhaps discarding the little shards first––those tiny options that hide alongside the obvious milestones––would make larger decisions simpler and obedience easier. Remember: Jesus asked others to roll aside the tombstone before he raised Lazarus from the dead. And weed sprouts are easier to pull than entrenched plants.

Read more:
*By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:19

*Then [Martha] returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, 'The Teacher is here and wants to see you.' So Mary immediately went to him. …

When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, 'Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.'

When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. 'Where have you put him?' he asked them.

They told him, 'Lord, come and see.' Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, 'See how much he loved him!' But some said, 'This man healed a blind man. Couldn't he have kept Lazarus from dying?'

Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 'Roll the stone aside,' Jesus told them.

*Our Savior, Christ Jesus, has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:10 (NIV)

Moravian Prayer: Blessed Savior, we rejoice in your victory over death! Let this knowledge guide and sustain us as we move through the darkness of our lives toward the eternal light of salvation you have shone into the world. Amen.

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