When tempted to worry, aim small and you’ll miss small.
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things….
Over the Independence Day holiday, the movie The Patriot was on several different channels. It is a favorite of mine. And since this is the day after the Independence Day holiday (in the U.S.) it is fresh on my mind.
There is a scene, near the beginning of the movie, where Mel Gibson’s character – Benjamin Martin – reminds his younger sons of his lessons on shooting a gun.
“Aim small, miss small.”
I assume this is good advice when firing a weapon at a target – if you aim at a small portion of the target, you will tend to miss small, which means you’ll still hit the target.
I don’t have first-hand knowledge of this advice. As for me, I couldn’t hit a bullet with the broad side of a barn!
But it seems to me that it is also good advice for daily living!
Focus on the small stuff. Focus on just one or two things at a time. If I do this, my day will tend to go a lot better. If I aim small I’ll only miss small!
What Are You Worried About
Jesus was visiting with his dear friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus. As Jesus was apt to do, he was teaching in the front room. Mary (and, I presume, so was Lazarus) was at his feet listening intently.
Martha was preoccupied with getting everything ready for dinner.
This is one lesson from Jesus about worry.
Being occupied with many things won’t work. It raises stress levels and the blood pressure.
I know when I try to do so many different things at once, I tend to not get anything done well.
Being worried and anxious is like that. When my to-do list is a mile long and I’ve only a day to complete it, I usually miss in accomplishing all of it well.
I aim big. And I tend to miss big.
Jesus’ message to Martha is a powerful lesson about worry. Aim small, miss small.
His other lesson about worry was when he was teaching the Sermon on the Mount.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
When we start to take a wider view of our responsibilities, duties, and lists of things to do, we will become frustrated when we begin to miss big because we are aiming so big.
It’s like juggling 5, 6, 7, or 10 balls at a time! Most of those balls – if not all of them – are going to miss our hands and end up on the floor.
Jesus, in his two teachings on worry, is basically tell us to aim small miss small. Keep our focus on just what’s in front of us.
The Narrow Focus
I will do much better – and so will my blood pressure – when I narrow my focus on just two or three things per day.
Taking the narrow focus – aiming small – helps me to hit my targets more accurately and more often!
I may not hit the bull’s eye every time, but I will tend to miss only small.
And why do I do this? Because this is what Jesus teaches. And since I believe he loves me, I believe this is what is best for me.
Heavenly Father, you are in control of all things. You love me and want what’s best for me. Help me to relinquish control over all the many things I’m trying to control. Give me the patience, endurance, and power to focus on just two or three things that I can do to your glory and my neighbor’s welfare In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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