Little But Big

I was able to take an afternoon this week and do something I love to do — work in the yard.  Yes, I love it.  I cut low hanging branches from my mother’s pecan and cedar trees,  got rid of weeds around the fence, and took off on the tractor mower to cut the grass.

After I cut the limbs from the trees, I began dragging them off, to pile them up to be burned.  The task took longer than expected.  I lost count after the tenth trip of going back and forth across the yard to the limb pile.  It didn’t matter; the sun had slipped behind clouds, making the air more comfortable, so I trekked on in the enjoyment of my outside work.

However, after some time, I became aware of something uncomfortable.  Immediately I knew what it was — a little piece of grit had found the inside of my shoe and was pricking my foot.  It hurt just a bit.  I shook my foot, knocking my shoe against the other one,  in hopes of moving the unwanted object from beneath my foot.   No, that didn’t work.  I could still feel it, but it had moved so it didn’t hurt as bad.  I walked on, gathering limbs, and taking them to the growing pile in the field near our house.

Back and forth I went with my tree limbs, taking care of a needed task to be done.  The piece of grit in my shoe did not give up it’s own mission of making the walk difficult.  Finally, after several trips, I stopped, took off my shoe, turned it over and gave a good shake, and out fell the piece of grit.  It was so little but made it’s presence known in a big way.  No one could have known by looking at me that I had a painful piece of grit in  my shoe, and I certainly didn’t have to put up with it as long as I did, but I was busy.  I was busy doing a good thing, so I ignored what was hurting me.  It was only small.

As I walked on to finish my gathering of tree limbs, I noticed the immediate relief to my foot.  Oh, how delightful it felt to walk unhindered.   The thought then came — it’s the same in my spiritual walk.  I can be doing something good for the love of Jesus or for the love of someone else.  Then, somewhere along the way of doing good things, a little piece of transgression can slip into my shoe of walking in godliness.  No one can tell.   Perhaps it’s just a little misdeed.  I can still walk on to complete the task at hand.  But wait, someone can tell.  My Father in heaven can tell, and I can tell, too.  It’s then that I notice my joy level has subsided just a bit.

I stop then, remove my shoe and shake out the little piece of transgression.   Oh, how delightful to walk unhindered.   When we become aware of a transgression, no matter how little, let us not delay in shaking out our shoes, asking Father to “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God; and renew a right spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10  Then walk on as joy returns!

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