Truth time: I am a chronic kidney stone producer… That’s what my urologist called it. At this very moment I have no fewer than four stones, and last week one of them decided it didn’t like it’s place of residence and wanted to move. As anyone who has ever experienced these delightful bits of calcified joy will know, the movement is when the pain starts. I’m not going to get into the details… though I have already devolved into a place “over-sharing” at this point… But it hurt. For several days. Pain killers and other meds were prescribed, and I functioned as a husband, dad, pastor, et al. just barely… And this was my second go around with them.
The thing that always dumbfounds me about pain in general is how small the causes can be. Kidney stones don’t need to be very large (in my case 3mm) to cause some serious pain. A small fire ant can cause howls of anguish if not found quickly. A regular nail weighing only a few ounces when left on the street can flatten a tire. As a child I remember what the smallest barb off of a sand spur could do to my foot.
And that’s how it is with the decisions in our very lives. A few seconds glancing at a text message can have devastating affect when it’s done at 55 mph. A seemingly small flirtation can erupt into marital infidelity. A sentence of only a few syllables can have atomically destructive power on the heart of a person when it is launched like a missile with deadly accuracy. The scars of those tiny moments are anything but insignificant.
5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. ~ James 3:5-10 (ESV)
There is nothing terribly profound in these statements… except that as much as we know that it is the “tiny, unimportant, insignificant” moments of our lives which combine to make us who we are – we still forget. We are still lax in our behavior and fail to heed the words of Paul – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)
In truth there are no small moments. No small decisions. Everything is meant to be a moment of submission to God and his glory.