Over the past several months I have read numerous articles that described “the best advice I have ever received” or “the one event that changed my life.” I really enjoy reading these types of articles mainly because they remind me of what could happen at any given moment in the Church. This Sunday God could use something I say (or you say) to touch the life of someone in a way I could never imagine. Years from now they will stand up and tell how one Sunday morning they heard an overweight, balding preacher say something that altered the course of their life. Amazing.
The sad part of these articles for me is that I feel like my life is devoid of very many of these events. Honestly, I have received good advice, but I cannot really think of any life changing advice. I can only think of 3 decisions that altered the course of my life. One decision to be a Christian, one to stay in Bible college and one to get married. That is my entire list of life altering decisions. Now, that is not to say I have not had some life altering situations thrust upon me. My life has been changed by death, the poor decisions of others and other situations beyond my control. When I think about it there are very few life changing, course altering, defining moments of my own choice that have shaped my life.
Rather, my life has been shaped more by the simple decisions I make every day. Take today for example. Today I held my wife for a few moments when I wanted to go back to sleep. Then a got ready for the day. Instead of watching TV I decided to go into my sons room and lie on his bed and talk. I tried to encourage and coach him through sports and ultimately life. Then I decided to eat a couple of chocolate chip cookies and a glass of chocolate milk – a decision this is not helping me physically. Then off to work where I started my day with a short prayer and time listening to the Bible. I am now halfway through the entire Bible which excites me, but I feel my prayer life is flat and needs some work. I know I need to do something to change it and make it better, but what decision will I have to make to do that? Next I read blogs. I wanted to skim but today I read a few article about pastors. pastor’s wives, and pastor’s families. I was glad I made that decision. Finally, I tried to focus in and write this article. I wanted to go find more cookies but decided I needed write something. After 15 minutes of procrastinating I came up with this idea for my blog and now I am writing.
All of those decisions seem so small. You might have gotten bored just reading it. It is not the type of story that makes your hair stand up and tingle with excitement. These are the daily decisions of life. And yet, my relationships with my wife is getting stronger, I pray my son(s) have a great father, I am slowly growing in my prayer life, I am going to get through the Bible again in a year and a half plus I am on my way to post another 250 blogs that over 1000 people will read. The end result would not be possible without the little decisions along that way.
I want my life and ministry to be about dramatic life change but I find it is more about daily cheer leading. Each week I cheer people on to continue making daily decisions for God. Then in 20 years or more they will look back and see how far those little decisions have taken them. Maybe how far they have taken you.
So today I want to cheer you on. Contact your spouse right now and tell them you love them. Contact your kids and tell them you are proud of them. Take two minutes to pray. Find 5 minutes to read just one small part of your Bible (look it up online if you need to). Write something. Read something. Say something. Tell someone. Make that little decision to do that one thing. The cumulative effect of that will be felt over a lifetime.