LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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CHAPTER 12

 

 

LITTLE THINGS WELL DONE

 

LET IT be granted that you are a person of ordinary ability. Perhaps you will never be removed into a wider sphere than the one in which you have been pining like a wood-bird in its cage. Give up your useless regret, your querulous complaint, and begin to meet the call of trivial commonplace, with tenderness to each person you encounter, with faith in God as doing his best for you, with heroic courage and unswerving fidelity, with patience, thoroughness, submission. Go on acting thus week in and week out, year by year, with no thought of human notice, determined always to be at your best, eager only to pay out without stint the gold of a noble, unselfish heart. At the end of life, though you may know not that your face glistens, others will see you shining like the sun in your heavenly Father’s kingdom. It will be discovered that you have a great and noble life, and you will be greeted on the threshold of heaven with the “well done” of your Lord.

Some who are sighing for a great life are unconsciously living it in the eye of God’s angels. Those who meet the incessant demand of monotonous tasks with gentleness, unselfishness, and the wealth of a strong, true heart—these, though they know it not, are graduating for the front ranks of heaven’s nobility. It is a greater thing to do little things well than those which seem more important. They who daily handle matters that bulk largely before the eyes of their fellows are expected to act from great motives and to behave worthily in their great and important positions. The statesman is expected to be high-minded, the Christian lady to be virtuous, the minister to be earnest. There is no special credit to any of these for being what they profess and are expected to be. The current is with them. Their difficulty would be to face it. Surely in God’s sight it is a much greater when the soul conquers adverse circumstances and rises superior to the drift of associations. To be high-minded when your companions are mean and degraded; to be chaste when ease and wealth beckon you to enter the gate of vice; to be devout or zealous when no one expects it: to do small things from great motives—this is the loftiest attainment of the soul. It is a greater thing to do an unimportant thing from a great motive for God, for truth, for others, than to do an important one; greater to suffer patiently each day a thousand stings than die once as a martyr at the stake.

Therefore an obscure life really offers more opportunities for nurture of the loftiest type of character, just because it is less liable to be visited by those meaner considerations of notoriety or applause or money which intrude themselves into more prominent positions and scatter their deadly taint.

You can not be brave in a crisis if you are habitually a coward. You can not be generous with a fortune if you are a miser with a limited income. You can not be unselfish in some accident that imperils life if you are always pressing for the one vacant seat on a train or a street-car, and elbowing your way to the front on every possible occasion. David must practise with sling and stone through long hours in the wilderness, or he will never bring down Goliath. Joseph must be pure in thought and strong in private self-discipline, or he will never resist the solicitation of the temptress. The Sunday-school teacher must be regular, painstaking, faithful in conducting his class of girls and boys, or he will never be promoted to serve his Master as a minister at home or as a missionary abroad.

Of course, we can not be saved by works only. There is no saving merit in what we do. Salvation is only by simple trust in our Savior, Jesus. But when we are saved, it gives new zest to life to do all for him as Lord and Master, and to know that he is well pleased in the right doing of the most trivial duties of the home or daily business.

May each reader learn this happy art, and go through life offering all to God as the white-robed priests in the temple of old. Indeed, all believers, those who have been born again, have been made priests unto God; every sphere may be a holy temple; and every act done in the name of Jesus may be a spiritual sacrifice, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.