Monday, February 7, 2011

Faithful in the Small Things

In the women's Bible study we are going through the life of David.  Recently the topic was David's sins of lust and adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Bathsheba's husband Uriah. 

The interesting thing about David's sin is that it all started when he wasn't where he should have been.  Instead of going out to battle with his men, he decided to stay home.  Such a little thing.  No harm in taking a break every once in a while, but then again, there is a time for everything. 

Then he took an afternoon nap on his roof and when he woke up, caught the glimpse of Bathsheba he wasn't meant to have.  He then made a choice to prolong the look or continue to keep it in his minds' eye.  Such little things.  One look, one thought, one fantasy ... no big deal, right?

Except he kept thinking about her, and decided he had to know who she was.

Even when he was told she was married to Uriah, one of his most loyal men, he disregarded that information and ordered her to be brought to him.  He slept with her, and when they found out she was pregnant, he tried to cover up by bringing Uriah home from the battle.  When Uriah's sense of duty kept at the palace and away from his wife, David got him drunk and tried again.  When that didn't work, David sent him on his way with orders to his commander to send Uriah and others on an unnecessarily dangerous mission, one that meant almost certain death for the whole squad.  

How different things might have been if David had only gone to battle!  Or, if he had chosen to avert his eyes and put the image of Bathsheba out of his mind the moment he accidentally saw her.  Temptation to sin is best avoided all together.  If it is unavoidable or one simply hasn't effectively avoided it in a given instance, the next best thing is to "flee" either literally or mentally.  

Likewise for me.  How often does a simple decision to put something off, to procrastinate, to rest a little now, lead to unneded stress later, stress that causes me to become irritable and feel annoyed with or resentful of my husband and daughter?  

And once the irritation is upon me, it really is up to me to choose what to do with those thoughts and feelings.  I can either fan the spark of irritation until it becomes anger and rage and unkind words and actions, or I can stamp out the spark as soon as I see it and replace it with the loving kind and gentle thoughts words and actions.

My choice to be faithful to the small things I have to do blesses my family and myself.  This simple idea of being faithful in the small things has energized me this week and given me courage to tackle some tasks that sometimes seem overwhelming.

"Daily" "Quiet" Time with God
I don't want to be legalistic about this but a concentrated time of reflection has been missing from my life and I decided to add it back in.  It isn't exactly daily. Thursday and Friday last week and today I've done this over breakfast, but I missed Saturday and Sunday when I was out of town visiting family.  It isn't exactly quiet. C sits next to me and chatters while she eats her breakfast, and I am frequently interrupted.  But I've been using lack of consistency and inability to have true quiet as excuses long enough.  I will choose to be faithful to this small thing, one day at a time. 

I've been using a method I learned at Mariners Church -- journaling about yesterday, asking God to reveal insights, then reading a portion of Scripture and looking for one thing I can apply that day, then writing out a prayer using the ACTS acronym. 

Doing things as I see they need to be done versus putting them off until later is the big thing here.  Reminding myself when it feels like a chore that it is a way to bless my family. 

Keeping strictly to the dairy free diet that C and I require, and not giving in to temptation to cheat "just this once" as a treat.  Starting a gluten free diet that I'm hoping will help me with some IBS-like symptoms and general fatigue and brain fog (Today is day 1 ... planning to evaluate after 30 days).

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