Don’t Let the Little Things Ruin Your Day

I don’t know about you, but from time to time there will be something that happens or comes my way that seems to change the atmosphere and stay with me the rest of the day. I’m not talking about big things, like a bomb being dropped on your city or a tornado coming through your community. I’m just talking about little things that can, in a moment of time, make a difference in your life for a period. The big things are bad, but thankfully they rarely come. The little things? Oh, they will sneak up on you every day.

A few years ago I left home early traveling to a church where I was to preach. Because it was so early, I had a cup of coffee with me in the car. As I drove along listening to the radio and thinking about where I was going to speak and trying to drink my coffee all at the same time, I hit a bump in the road and thoughtlessly jerked my cup of coffee toward the steering wheel. The coffee spilled all over me.

Now I’ve got a dilemma. Am I going to turn around and go back home and get some other clothes? Quickly I realized I wouldn’t get to the speaking engagement if I did, so now here I am driving along with a shirt that had a huge coffee stain on it and the front of my pants that were also coffee colored and no time to do anything about it. I just kept on driving. Spilling some coffee on you is not the end of the world, but it can seem like it at the moment. Soon you’re going to be standing before all these folks and hopefully you can stay behind the podium and no one will ever notice. I can tell you that for the rest of the drive and for the time that I was at the church and until I could get back home and change, I was concerned about it. Just a few thimbles of coffee made a mess of most of my day. It’s that way with a lot of folks, and I think in Jesus’ day He dealt with people who worried so much about things that weren’t worth worrying about.

Just think about the little discoveries you can run into today that will mess everything up. A friend of mine saw this sign the other day that he shared with me: “Nothing ruins my Friday as much as to discover it’s actually Wednesday.” Those kinds of discoveries can mess you up in a moment or even worse, like a fella said, “The only thing worse than finding a worm in your apple is to find half a worm in your apple.” Now, what are you going to do? Of course, it’s time to stop, reevaluate, maybe find a place where you can get away from folks, and spit out whatever you’ve taken in. That may need to take place in our lives more often than we think. Jesus told the people to look at the flowers of the field. They aren’t worrying and the Father is taking care of them. He’ll take care of you, and so He will (Matt. 6:25-34).

Beyond the little discoveries of life, there are the little disappointments of life. Maybe you didn’t get the recognition that you thought you deserved. It was just an oversight of someone, but it messed up your day. Maybe you feel other people aren’t pulling their weight and doing their job, and you feel like Simon Peter when he said, “What’s that man going to do?” We often wonder why other people are not doing their duties, and we spend too much of our time thinking they aren’t accomplishing what we think they ought to — when actually we’re wasting our time not accomplishing what we ought to accomplish. There are disappointments in life for sure. People will disappoint you, and you will disappoint people. If you want to, you can let that be the whole focus of your life. Don’t do it. Don’t let those little things ruin your life.

The third thing is the little delays that come in life. Have you ever thought about how many of life’s heartbreaks are because of delays? You’re expecting something. You really have great expectations about some event, some person, some work in your life, and it doesn’t come to fruition. Maybe it will later, but it didn’t as you wanted it to take place. The phone did not ring. The mailman did not deliver it. There seems to be silence on the other side of the hope, and it begins to ruin your day and the next one and the next one.

It’s interesting how delays create such turmoil within us. I remember years ago as a young pastor I was talking to a church that was interested in me coming to be their pastor. It looked like everything was going in a positive direction. The chairman of the committee told me that he would call me at a certain time the next day. Feeling that this is where I ought to be going and what we ought to be doing, I waited as that time came and the phone didn’t ring. An hour passed and the phone didn’t ring. I began to think all kind of bad thoughts, like they were trying to figure out how to tell me they didn’t want me to be their pastor. I tried to be positive and think, “Well, maybe the chairman has gotten sick or had a heart attack or something.” Everything I was thinking turned out to be wrong though I didn’t know that at the time.

The day went by and no phone call. It was later in the afternoon when he called. The reason he called was because some of the members of the committee called him to see how the call went that he didn’t make. Checking his calendar, he had put the call that he was to make on the wrong day. I didn’t know that until later that evening when he called me and apologized. I spent all day thinking bad thoughts, all of which were unnecessary.

There are delays that come in all our lives that we probably need to put in the hands of God rather than process ourselves, for sometimes there are delays about which we really get upset that are maybe in the clear plan and path of the will of God for us. For today, if no other day, let this be a reminder — Don’t let little things ruin your day.

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Jim Futral

Executive Director-Treasurer