From Bruce and Stan. . . .
Your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you
all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
Matthew 6:32-33 NLT
Here’s and exercise that will absolutely amaze you. At the end of the day (any old day will do), sit down with a blank piece of paper and write down everything you did that day. Everything. Every detail. If you’re fairly thorough (and honest), you’re going to end up with a list of more than a hundred items.
Now go back and rank your activities according to the following scale, which was developed by Richard Foster: 1. Essential, 2. Important, but not essential, 3. Helpful, but not necessary, 4. Trivial
When you’re done, look at your list. You will see two remarkable things. First you’ll notice how many details there are in one day. How did you do all of that? Second you’ll notice you spent on unnecessary and trivial things, and how little time you spent on essential and important details. Assuming you were honest, you now have a measure of your priorities, and they may not be what you expected. You thought the essential and important things were the top priorities of your life, but it’s the unnecessary and even the trivial things that occupy the majority of your time.
The trouble is that the details of our lives don’t really amount to much when you look at them from God’s perspective. It’s not that God doesn’t care about the small stuff. He cares more than we do. All He asks is that we put God at the top of our priority list.
Jesus made a simple statement about priorities when He said, “Make the kingdom of God your primary concern” (Matthew 6:33 NLT). What did He mean by this? Instead of being preoccupied with the details of your life, focus on God first. Trust Him to arrange your priorities. Trust Him to handle the small stuff.
When you reduce your priorities to one detail—and it’s God—then every other detail falls into place. But in a relatively short time—if you stay at it every day and give the small stuff of your life over to God—you will have a clearer and more effective focus in your life.
. . . . .In the Small Stuff
- You can start your day without God, but you’ll never really get started.
- If you find yourself putting your trust in money, intelligence, beauty, or success, remember that all of these things come from God. Think about where your trust really belongs.
- The way you deal with life each day depends on what you bring to life each day.
- Don’t be so involved with the when that you miss the now.
- Strive to be a person of faith rather than fame.
- If what you’re doing won’t make a difference in five years, it probably doesn’t matter now.
- You’ll know something becomes meaningful when it goes from your head, to your heart, to your hands.
- To find your priorities in life, look at your excesses.
- Don’t let your dreams die.
- You can’t plan for the future by looking in the rear view mirror.
- Whenever you look to the future, be bold.
- What you think about when you have nothing to do reveals what is important to you.
- Embrace the power of love. Reject the love of power.
- A good life is of more value than a good living.
~Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz, God is in the Small Stuff and it all matters (Uhrichsville, Ohio 44683, 1998) 106-111
*Posts with a preamble asterisk are for a more general audience and not specific to teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.