For my non-religious readers this is one more faith-based post. I promise I will give it a break for the next few. Thanks for bearing with me. I posted some great things to my movie blog if you want to check that out including a review of George Lucas’ new animated movie Strange Magic. http://54disneyreviews.wordpress.com/
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the small things in life. God really does ask us to do a lot of small things. Let’s think of the 10 Commandments. I would say there are 3 to some non-believers seem kind of small. 1. Shall Not Take Lord’s Name n Vain. 2. Must Keep the Sabbath Day Holy, 3. Honor thy Father and Mother.
I mean there are despots and dictators all over the place, would God really care whether I say Oh my G…. as you so often hear on the shows? What about going for groceries on Sunday? Surely with human trafficking and child rape God would not care about such a small thing? What if my parents are jerks why does he care if I honor or dishonor them?
All fair questions and I’m not sure I know. I have thought about this a lot and wondered why I obey these small things (or try too at least)? I am almost hesitant to talk about this because it might give the impression that I am perfectly obedient. Of course I am not. I know particularly with entertainment I am perhaps too lenient. I own that. But it is in my heart to be obedient and to feel God’s spirit as an active force in my life. I know when I am obedient I feel it stronger. I cannot deny it.
I wonder if the real reason he asks us to do all these small things is because most of the great joys of life are found in the quiet small moments? Sure we all have the big moments of weddings, graduations, births but I find those times are often a blur of stress and busyness.
When I think about the happiest times it is a conversation with a friend, a moment of clarity in prayer or a swim in the ocean. Perhaps the more we learn to trust God in all these little rules the more we grow to understand his little blessings?
I also think God’s goal is to ‘bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man’. His goal is to create Saints where the world would tell us it is good enough to just avoid doing ‘bad things’. That’s why He asks us to wear one set of earrings or not date till we are 16 or not drink coffee. He wants us to follow Him as best as we can because that will make us happy. It’s just an eternal law that certain actions create happiness and others create sadness.
A lot of us need the examples of small and simple things to give us confidence for the gut wrenching times when maybe He feels a little bit further away. I know for me if I had not developed a pattern of obedience I wouldn’t have made it through some of the tough moments of my life. So, in the end I’m grateful for the rules even if others may see them as limiting.
I think a lot of it has to do with faith. Do we have faith to live a law that we may not completely understand? Do we have faith to do something when there seems to be no reward? Do we have faith when it may even seem we are punished for following God’s law? If we can say yes even occasionally for small things that is powerful and it builds until it is a ‘sure foundation…whereon if men build they cannot fall”.
I believe faith also allows us to create an individual relationship with God. When the laws of God allow for multiple interpretations and lifestyles that frees us to go to Him and find out for ourselves how He wants us to live. The big things there is less movement on but the small things give us the chance for a personal connection with deity which perhaps makes them the most important rules of all? I could have a definition of the Sabbath, which I have prayed about and feel good about but it will be different than my neighbors. That’s a good and powerful thing. It makes a strong relationship with Our Heavenly Father when forgiveness and comfort is required. We’ve been to Him on the small things so we know how to do it for the big.
What do you guys think? Why does God ask us to do these small things like keep a clean mouth, pay a full tithe, keep the Sabbath day, fast once a month etc? I think there is just something about it that makes us strong.
One of my favorite stories from Jesus’ ministry is Mary breaking open the oil and washing the feet of Jesus. It was a small act of love but she was truly anointing a King. That’s pretty big in reality. Would love your thoughts.
Kind of a rambling post but would love to hear your thoughts.