Small problems are annoying. I’ve blogged on this before, but I’m a big picture person. Not a detail person. Details drive me up the wall, and I tend to ignore them for as long as possible. So on Monday afternoon on my way home from work when I stopped to get gas, it was unusual that I noticed a detail about my car. It was sitting somewhat crooked. As I filled up with gas, I reset the odometer in my car so I can eagerly check my miles per gallon, and the computer in my car told me that my left rear tire was about 10 pounds low.
Of course, no one in Wichita has free air anymore. So $.75 and a dust stain on my dress pants later, I had all of my tires are pressure, and I was driving home. The tire hold the air just fine all the way home. No big deal. Got home. Sort of slept (not really; I think I’ve forgotten how) and went back into work the next day. The tire was low but not desperately. Even so, I decided to make an appointment with my local dealership to have it checked out.
So yesterday morning, I took my beloved car into the dealer. And surprise surprise, I had a rather large nail pierced right through the sidewall. To make a long story short, I had to buy a new tire.
And I spent a good half hour pondering exactly how a rusty square nail could cost me $150.
Today’s verses are Matthew 13:31-32.
Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”
This verse is a positive verse, but I’m going to take a negative spin with it. Jesus used the illustration of a mustard seed to demonstrate how God can take something small and do something awesome with it, turning it into something great.
Well … you know that can work a different way.
Things that start off small can eventually become big, whether they’re good things or bad things. A nail in a tire is a bad thing, but if you leave it alone and don’t fix it, it can lead to a blow out … which can lead to deaths … possibly even more than one.
Can a petty, rusty square nail really cause someone to die?
If you don’t fix the problem before it becomes unfixable, yes.
Seeds are pretty spectacular little things. They’re so tiny, but after you plant them and take care of them, they become such big things. Trees or wheat crops that feed millions. The law of sowing and harvesting is incredible!
A virus is a spectacular little thing too, but even though it’s tiny–microscopic even–all it has to do is start multiplying, and pretty soon that tiny little microscopic annoyance has become something huge and out of control that can do a lot of damage.
I guess my thought this morning is that we have so many opportunities in life to fix problems before they grow beyond our means to control, but so many times we choose to let them go. We convince ourselves that the problem isn’t that big of a deal or that it will all work itself out. Well, yes, it probably will, but if you would take the initiative to fix it before it spirals out of control, maybe you can reduce the damage.
Everything is a seed. Everything you say, everything you do, everything you think. You’re planting seeds every day, and one day you’re going to watch your crops grow into something much bigger than what you planted. So if you planted something that’s too big for you to control, you need to take steps to control it before it starts controlling you.
It’s like that nail in my tire. I didn’t have to get it fixed. I could have just kept filling the tire up with air and waiting for it to deflate. But eventually that tire would have blown.
Most problems can be fixed while they’re still small. No, it’s not fun. Fixing problems is never fun, especially when it’s your fault. But it’s better to suffer a little and fix the problem while you can before it grows beyond your capabilities.
Believe me when I say if you wait until it’s too late, the suffering is far far worse.