TENDING THE LITTLE THINGS:
God Of The Magnificent Yet Keen On The Insignificant
The quality of pastoral work is not judged by the size of the flock, but by the commitment to go after one straying sheep (see Matt. 18:10-14).
Secret of Getting Deeper With God
Enjoying a deeper fellowship with God now and the ultimate reward awaiting us is not based on the magnitude of our assignment but on the measure of our faithfulness. When the Bible says that each will be rewarded according to what he has done (Matt. 16:27), it shouldnât be understood to mean that the what is necessarily the magnificence of the work.
We are aware that big surprises are awaiting us in heaven. There is going to be someone there whom we thought ought not to be there and someone is going to be absent whom we thought ought to be there. But there is another axis of surprise not so much thought of. We may find someone who was sweeping the church getting a bigger prize than the pastor of the same church. It is not the visibility of the work we do that determines our reward, it is, however, the credibility, diligence and faithfulness with which we do our assignment.
The secret of getting deeper in our relationship with God does not depend on minding the attention-commanding things around us. If we want to get deeper in our relationship with God, we need to get zealously involved with the little things: attending to the unattractive; minding the minors; tending the tender; minding the minority; enlisting the least; listening to the languished; lending a voice to the voiceless; paying attention to the detained; travailing for the trivial; keeping it simple. It is out of the simple little things that magnificence growâremember the parable of the mustard seed (Matt. 13:31-32).
I know someone who felt that it was time for him to get a car. He had reached a point that he felt overwhelmed by the need for a car. He and his family were living at a place where commuting by public means had continuously become arduous. The bus intervals were wide and the distance to the bus stop was taxing, especially during winter.
Though he had been asking God for a car basically for himself and his family, he equally âheardâ a whisper asking, âIs that all you need a car forâfor you and your family?â He then felt that however much he was prompted to ask for a car because of his family needs, asking God for it just for his use wasnât âenoughâ. One day as he was praying, he felt he had pressed his way to the throne of provision. He strongly felt and believed that if he asked ârightâ, he would most likely get what he needed. He didnât squander this chance. He took advantage and made a plea for a car, but this time he found an âadequate reasonâ for needing a car. He told God, âIf You give me a car, I promise to give someone a liftâYou can count on me to do thatâ. That was simple, apparently not enough reason, or so you might think.
This man did not make it big. It was so small, so trivial that if it were a human being he was seeking favour from, he would have wasted his chance by claiming that he needed a car because he would give someone a lift. In fact for man, his âselfishâ reason would have been far much better than a promise of giving someone a lift. He would probably end up being scoffed at and asked to find a better (bigger) reason.
What matters, as we have already implied, is not necessarily the size of the assignment we are committing ourselves to do for God. It is rather the faithfulness in an assignment. This man told God that He could count on him to give a lift to anyone who asked for oneâunless there was a âgenuineâ reason to hinder this.
So, did he get the car he asked for? He didâin a very remarkable way. This man asked for a car when he didnât even have money to buy one. The same week after telling God that he would give someone a lift (and he meant anyone who asks for one), one of the leaders in his local church called him and told him that there was a car for him. He told him that one of the members in the church had two cars and she saw no purpose of keeping both. Since she had use only for one, she asked the church if they needed a car. The car was then passed on to this man and the lady wasnât in a hurry to get payment for it. She gave a grace period of up to one year to be paid. And the money she asked for was unbelievably low.
So, did he give the lift he promised to give? He did, in a remarkable way. It wasnât long after getting the car. He had to live up to his promise. He gave a dramatic and âhistoric liftâ that caught the attention of the media.
A neighbour in labour asked him to take her to the hospital. The labour had begun in earnest. She could neither wait for an ambulance nor call a taxi. She had to get to the hospital immediately. Due to the morning traffic throng, they were not able to reach the hospital. The lady delivered in the car along the way but he was able to get the mother and the new-born-babyâŚ