Moving Beyond the Small Things

How to make life work for you, how to align the expectations of life with your abilities, how success breeds success, how to be as fully unimpeded as possible, not in denial of the reality that difficult trials will come, but that you avoid unnecessary distraction and stress and worry so as to be as fully engaged and energized as possible, in order to meet the demands and trials that do come.

It’s possible, and perhaps common within the frantic pace of our era, to become overwhelmed simply by the daily and normal expectations of life, being thinned out and picked apart by small things, all the while ignoring the Real Matters (spirituality, relationships, etc.), leaving them without thought because there is somehow no more time in the day. And instead of growing stronger through these daily stresses, like building muscles, we are increasingly exhausted and discouraged by them, like an injury of repetitive motion.

And we feel powerless to change things, blaming the complex and innumerable outside incidences that bombard us, all the while being blind to that true solution, which is of course so much bigger and far beyond what our minds are currently churning over.

It is so hard to let go of all that somehow, even though I believe it makes us physically sick, and makes us emotionally mean. How do we get above it? Onto a different level of living? It’s not like we can forget about rent and the daily commute, refuse to care about being late or overcharged or taken advantage of. And yet …

The blessings of the minds and hearts God has given us are wasted if we have no time to use them in the ways that Really Matter. I believe there are things we can do to make life easier, listed below, and would love to hear your ideas as well.

  • Live simply
  • Drive safely
  • Plan ahead
  • Stop procrastination
  • Focus on what we can do today, instead of worrying about tomorrow
  • Get enough sleep
  • Make deliberate and thoughtful decisions
  • Stay firmly rooted in reality
  • Let go of expectations
  • Let go of the need for control

9 thoughts on “Moving Beyond the Small Things

  1. Thought provoking blog…. have you ever read the book “Margins”? It talks about making margins with our time (not packing so much in that it is full to the gills) and therefore we have more sense of peace, happiness in our lives, time to think, etc. Also, we have an ability to handle things when they come up in life because we have the margin to allow it to come into our lives for a brief time and then leave.

  2. I really appreciate and relate to your blog post…

    Personally, I know I struggle with “living simply.” This is my last semester of college and, in many ways, it was set up so it would be one of my easiest. However, as the semester started I began feeling like I wasn’t busy enough. I heard about friends and the hectic semesters they were having and an oddly competitive side of me felt like I should be doing the same… They were achieving so many things, maybe I was wasting my potential with an easy semester?

    So… I began to take on more and more tasks–another job, looking into a second internship, etc…

    Even though I originally HAD a great opportunity to calm my life down and use that extra time to spend on God, improving myself, or various other things, I didn’t take it because I didn’t know how to handle it…

    When talking to friends, it can quickly become a competition of who is the busiest… Who had the least amount of sleep? Who worked the most hours? Who spent the most hours at rehearsal/doing homework? We’re all so eager to be the ones with the most accomplished lives and hectic schedules.

    Anyway, all this to say that I think finding balance in a society that praises the un-balanced is a challenge.

    Thanks for your honesty and sharing! =)

    • I definitely know what you mean! Always a struggle to get the right balance between challenging yourself/using your abilities/helping others and saving enough personal time to have a peaceful life. I’m still working at it for sure!

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    For me, when I was working full-time, I found at times my spiritual focus faltering and so I decided one day that I was going to put on my calender an actual appt time for prayer every day. The majority of my prayer times happened before I headed out in the morning, at the beginning of my lunch break, and in the evening before bed. Making sure I didn’t skip that afternoon “appt” really helped me keep my work life in perspective.

  4. I found that when I can I would try to step outside and take a deep breath, pause. Or take a moment with that rare chance when everyone gets off the elevator excep you – and count to 10. Then keep Ecclesiates in mind – to everything there is a time. It keeps the small things at bay, for a time, at least.

  5. Letting go of the need for control is definitely a challenge for me – and one I think God felt I need to learn in so many ways before Charlotte was born. Crazy thing after crazy thing happened at work – right before the Feast, during the Feast and the month before my last day. It was like He just kept saying “Trust me – you don’t need to control this – it’s all going to work out”. And time after time it did work out, but apparently I needed to be reminded several times. 🙂

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