MAJORS & MINORS (PART 1)
… I dragged the garbage cans down to the street last night, but this morning, I realized that I forgot to put the garbage in them.
...I washed all of the laundry. I even put it in the dryer. Of course, I forgot about it for a few days and now it’s all a wrinkled mess.
...I organized all of my mail into piles, but I haven’t opened any of it yet.
...I called my Mother yesterday to say “hello,” but I just remembered today that yesterday was her birthday.
...I finished all of my homework, but when I got to school, I discovered that I left it on my desk at home.
...My friends mean the world to me, and I’m sure they know that, so I shouldn’t have to tell them all the time.
...I cooked the dinner tonight, so I think someone else should clean things up and do the dishes.
…I want to lose some weight, but realistically, I just don't have the time or energy right now to make that happen. At least it’s a goal.
...I need to be more organized and responsible, but who am I kidding? That’s not me. Why change now?
...I said something hurtful to someone today, but... well... I’m sure they know I didn’t really mean it. There’s no need to apologize. It was all in good fun.
...So what? I left the house today without saying “I love you.” It’s not like I won’t see them later.
... I pulled a few dollars from my wallet and dropped them in the offering plate, but I kind of wish I had kept them for a cup of coffee.
...I proudly keep my Bible right next to my bed, but I can’t say I’ve picked it up in a while. I mean, if I try to read it I just get bored and fall asleep, but I'm sure I’ll read it when I’m more awake.
...I go to church regularly. I always have, but it doesn’t entertain me and I don’t “feel” what other people say they feel. At least I'm doing the right thing by going.
Do any of these examples resonate with you? I’m sure you may have chuckled at some and rolled your eyes at others, but face it, we all try to cut corners sometimes. It’s too easy to view life through a lens that focuses on “the little things.” We have a natural tendency to be content with meeting bare minimums, often “reaching,” but seldom caring to “exceed” expectations. What’s more, it’s common to try and cover our tracks with justification. However, God stands in contention to this. We cannot justify our lacking spirit before a God who sees our hearts. As we grow (in wisdom) He calls us to open our eyes and recognize the much bigger picture. Christians, it’s time we grew up!
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me” 1 Corinthians 13: 11
Our minds are constantly at war between the passive and the proactive, and our spiritual walks are often a dance of forward and backward steps. We can have the best intentions for growth, but act with the poorest execution. We can leave the gate with a quick stride, but lose steam, get distracted, and completely forget there was a finish line. Desire for God must be cultivated and sought after, lest we remain complacent in a rut of normalcy and boredom. “Meeting the minimum” may seem appealing, attainable and sufficient, but this mindset is the work of the enemy, the one who seeks to twist our minds and throw sand on our fire. His goal is simply to stop our seeking.
It just isn’t healthy to “major” in the “minors.” Have you ever heard the phrase before? Plainly stated, it’s when we misdirected our focus to the things of lesser importance. It’s like staring at one puzzle piece when we should be working to finish the whole picture. It’s putting "acts of service," "religion," or "living a good life" on a pedestal above a personal, spirit-filled relationship with the living God. We "major in the minors" when we forget the Lord's promises and blame Him for seeming distant. We "major in the minors" when we lose perspective on the magnitude of Christ’s love. We "major in the minors" because, well... it’s easier. It's the faulty wiring of sin within us that says “my relationship with God is just fine, so why put in more effort than I need to?” We’re so attentive to the “temporal” and the “limited.” We seek instant gratification and get so caught up in the minutia. We listen to the voice that says “I’ve done enough,” and forget to fix our eyes on the eternal matters of highest importance.
What can you do? Ask the Lord the reveal the "minors" in your life. Ask Him to strengthen your desire to exceed spiritual expectations, knowing that this will draw your eyes back to seeing Him in all His glory. We all want convenience, even when it comes to our faith. We all want the full reward with half the effort. "Why take the stairs when there’s an escalator?" We prefer what’s fast, convenient and painless whenever possible, rarely seeking a challenge unless we have a clear view and an open path to the desired result.
Great intentions often sprout for the wrong reasons. We keep mental checklists of our “spiritual disciplines” (I read my Bible, I prayed today, I did my devotions, I gave to the needy, I served at church, I showed love to someone). That's great, but is our heart in them? Are you sincere or driven by obligation? The Holy Spirit must dictate your actions rather than your actions dictating the presence of the Holy Spirit. Majoring on the minor things of faith will leave you fruitless… “half done,” and “half-hearted.”
“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.” Luke 24: 13-35 NIV
I can only imagine Jesus shaking his head, even laughing to himself as he walked with these men. I can only imagine Jesus thinking to himself, “I TOLD these guys EVERYTHING that was going to happen. I’m RIGHT HERE. I called this! I’ve been correct about EVERYTHING. Here they are, focused on the wrong things, refusing to see what's right in front of them. These guys are clearly majoring in the minors.”
Jesus walks with you now, calling for your attention and pleading with you to stop cutting corners. No act of faith will strengthen your spirit without sincerity. Christ is not hidden. Just follow that burning in your heart. He longs to reveal Himself, and I promise, you will see Him in all His glory when you learn to major on the major things.