What's So Important?
What bugs you? Are you a detail person like I am? Okay, I confess. I am a nitpicker. That's the ugly word for "detail person."The world is full of nits and it is my God-given job to pick them. Well, that isn't really true but it feels true. Perhaps I should join Nitpickers Anonymous or something. This sounds funny and it is but the truth is that I am like that. The smallest thing will jump up and become a huge problem. You can drive other people crazy with the nitpicking. I like to drive the kids crazy. It's only fair. Are you like that?
I know people who find something wrong and their whole day is shot. The car keys are not where they belong. The keys aren't actually lost. They just were not where they belonged. The kids didn't do their chores right. Someone is picking their teeth. Rover ate the mail. Can't you just hear it? "One more thing goes wrong today and I will quit. Do you hear me? QUIT!" Or "I am going to scream so loud they will hear me in Alaska (or whereever it is that is a long way from where they are)."
What does that have to do with nitpickers? Because we zero in on the tiny details, little things become big. Therefore, when the keys can't be found, it is a tragedy. When the dog eats the mail, you just know that the one piece of mail had your check for a million dollars in it. When the kids don't do the chores that means you have to do them when you have no time left in the day. People picking their teeth...well, we won't go into that one. Circumstances like that bring on the nightmares in your world. Or do they?
The Lord brought me to this message one day. Pictures of disasters such as the World Trade Center, Pentagon, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes came to mind. Plagues, droughts, starvation, and more of the horrendous tragedies this world seems to offer up these days wandered through my thoughts uninvited. And then the Lord said to me, "What's so important about those keys? You know where they are. They just weren't where you designated them to be. Is that so earthshaking?" It put things into perspective quickly.
People have problems everyday but not all things are important. It's time to take stock of what is and is not urgent or significant. The nits just are not on that level. The Word of God is clear that we are not to worry about the little things. Actually, we are not to worry about the big things either.
Matthew 6:31-34, "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
Why must we consistantly worry about the things that are so insignificant that tomorrow or even one half hour from now are not in our minds anyway? Well, see now, there is the problem right there. Worry. God tells us that worry is actually the opposite of faith. Ouch! That one hit where it hurts. Nitpickers tend to also be the worriers of the family. Don't they? Perhaps they are not worrying about the big disasters at the moment but what about the way that 8 year old is holding that spoon? If he doesn't learn to do it the right way now, he never will. Is that right. Is this really so important that we make the kid miserable at mealtime? Not really. But a nitpicker would want the issue to be addressed right now, not wait until it becomes....shudders....a habit. God save us from the wrongly wielded spoon lovers of the world.
Backing up a couple of verses from the ones I quoted a moment ago:
Matthew 6:25-30, "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?"
When Jesus tells you to "take no thought" you can confidently insert the words "do not worry." If you are not to worry about the things such as your clothes, way to work, rent, electric bill, then it would follow that you would also not be concerned about who put the car keys on the table instead of on the hook, what the dog ate, how the kid holds the spoon. These things are just not that important in a day. But what is significant is Jesus saying that I have little faith. You have little faith if you continue to nitpick. He didn't say that? Bottom of the last quote..." O ye of little faith." That is the last thing I want for Jesus to tell me and it is the first He says.
So, what is the solution? Perhaps instead of nitpicking and worrying about all these things, you and I need to do what the Lord tells us:
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
As you begin to fill your mind with these things, the worries and cares of this world fade. All things become new again. Peace enters in where there was only strife and anxiety. Sound like heaven on earth? NOW you get the point!
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Good reminder, except for...(just kidding!). I really enjoyed your take on this subject. - Jay Cookingham