It's the Little Things


When we think about change, we usually think about big things, but it's the little things that actually make the difference.

Years ago I was sitting in grad school, listening to a lecture by Larry Crabb talking about real and substantive change in our lives, and how our choices every day reflect what’s truly ruling us. He said he was blasting out the door that morning as he usually did, crashing into his day, blasting, how he made a conscious decision to stop, turn around, go back and get something he forgot. The point was, “I am trying to be aware of what is ruling me as I move through my day, and I’m making small decisions to act against it. That’s how I cooperate with God in my transformation.”

I thought…huh. Really? That seems like pretty small potatoes. That’s where change takes place? I’m in grad school for this?

Over the years I’ve found it to be profoundly true. We look for the huge, monumental changes – which are so hard to pull off, and pretty rare for most of us, and we miss a thousand small decisions that could change us.

This summer, it was flip-flops.

I’ve never liked flip-flops, thought they were wimpy. When I did wear sandals in the summer, I’d choose something like Tevas, or Chacos, “adventure sandals” that have straps and buckles, a design that make them ready for action. It reflects a posture, an approach to life. “Always be ready for action.” Flip-flops are like wearing bathrobes. Like going to the market in pajama pants. I’d never be caught dead in a bathrobe. I mean, it’s so friggin wimpy.

OK. So part of my awareness and repentance of late has been to see how little I chill-out. Just chill-out. Let down. Relax. I’m always “on.” I despised flip-flops because they were so un-ready for anything.

Anyhow, I bought a pair when we went to Hawaii in June, and I’ve worn them throughout the summer. Its a small act. Might even seem silly. But its a way of repenting. “Chill out, John. Give it a rest, for heaven’s sake. You don’t have to be ‘on’ all the time.”

So, it’s been the summer of the flip-flops. It goes down as a milestone.

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