Summary: In this one-off message, Dave talks about why it is critical to make the most of small moments.
Don't Forget the Small Stuff
Wildwind Community Church
August 16, 2009
There's a popular book called Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, which says that most of the stuff that bugs us in life doesn't really matter - in the scheme of things it's not that important. Obviously there's truth in that. We sure do get worked up and stressed out and uptight over things that really aren't that important. That person you're holding a grudge against after all this time - it's small stuff. Get over it and move on. Life's too short for that. Whether or not you get that promotion -- relax. It's not the most important thing in the world. It's small stuff compared to what really matters. The amount of money you have in the bank? Small stuff -- perhaps REALLY small! It's good for us to be reminded that we shouldn't sweat the small stuff.
But I realized recently that most of the things that actually DO matter in life are seemingly small things too. That 20 minutes you have available to you right now, where you can either send email or spend it with your kids before bedtime -- seems like small stuff. But it's small stuff you shouldn't forget. Two hours where you could get a sitter for the kids and hang out with your spouse next weekend -- only two hours. Pretty small stuff. But it's small stuff you should definitely not forget. That time you have with your kid on the way to the doctor's office -- just a few minutes. But it's time where you can connect, express real concern, let them know you're there for them. Small stuff, but stuff you shouldn't forget. See, most of the stuff that stresses us out in life is small stuff and we shouldn't sweat it. But most of the stuff that really matters - that determines who we're becoming every day - that's small stuff too at the time, and we shouldn't forget it.
I want to talk to you this morning about the value of some of those moments in life that might seem unimportant at the time. It's safe to say that the biggest impact you will make in this world will come from what you choose to do with the small stuff. Learning which small stuff not to sweat and which small stuff not to forget, in fact, is one of the most important challenges we face in our lives.
Psalms 39:4 (NLT)
4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.
We live every moment in this reality. The reality that our days are numbered. I might not live until the end of this sermon. But we never think about that, do we? Don't we come to church every week expecting to hear all of the sermon? We certainly don't think about how I might not finish it -- or about how one of us might check out before I get done. Or on the way home. Or resting and watching TV tonight. The more "or's" I give you, the more likely you are to feel depressed, because we don't like to think that death is a constant and present reality in our lives at every single second of the day. And because we don't like to think about it, we live in denial, with a constant shield up between ourselves and the reality of what is to come. And that's the reason why death is the thing that everyone knows is coming that still manages to shock us every time.
I went to college with a guy named John Mobley. I knew John, but we hung out in different crowds and were not really friends. But I had kind of kept up with him on Facebook a little bit. Tuesday evening John ran out of gas on the highway and was walking to a gas station, when a car ran into him at 65 miles per hour. John checked out Tuesday night. Time ran out. He didn't know that when he left his house that morning. He didn't know it when he left work that day. He didn't know it when he ran out of gas, or got out of his car to start walking. In fact, in his case there's a chance he NEVER knew it. The next day I heard the news and went to his Facebook page. There was no, "See ya later everybody - I'm punching out now." It was similar to when someone dies and you go to into their home or workshop or bedroom the next day. Their presence seems to haunt the place still.
I read recently an author who said, "One day you're going to die and when you do, there will be things you're in the middle of that get left unfinished. Projects you're doing that will never get done. Important things to you that will be left hanging." Often we think about the person who dies at an old age and wraps up their life, writes a will, and has their house in order. But often this is not what happens. Often we are snatched away in an instant.