“One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.” ~ John Burroughs
Pettiness. It is something that, at one time or another, seems to bog all of us down. We so easily get caught up in trivial matters that, to anyone on the outside looking in, do not amount to a whole lot of anything; but, for us, they are all that is important. Pettiness can keep us from growing and from being the people we could be. Pettiness leads to jealousy and envy. Pettiness can, truly, do us no good.
We need to learn to rise above the little things rather than let the little things hold us down. Sometimes, the little things are born from fear or anxiety. They cloud our vision and our way of thinking. I often remember something I heard in junior high. Our teacher was talking to us about how fear can lead to our death. He mentioned drowning. He cited a report of a person who drowned in a river. How, you might ask? The person who drowned panicked because he could not swim and had fallen out of a rowboat. In his panic, he clutched on to the first thing his hands could find: clumps of seaweed. He literally held himself under the water until he drowned. All that he needed to do was stand up, he was in water that shallow.
We often grasp for things. Sometimes, the things for which we grasp have the potential to hold us down and to lead to our failure. Let go of those things.
We can fail to grow in our faith lives as well because of pettiness. I have spoken with people throughout the years who have been jealous about the prayer life of others, the ease in which they seemed to commune with God, the number of activities in which others have engaged, et cetera. They were playing a spiritual kind of version of “keep up with the Joneses.” That can never work.
God wants us to be authentic in our lives. God wants us to be just as authentic in our spiritual lives. He does not want us to be anything other than what we are. Remember, He knows us through and through. After all, He is the one who fashioned us.
Do not try to be anyone else. Be yourself. Rise above the little things, the pettiness, that can bring you down and flourish in the light of God’s love this day.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to give you the grace that you need not to let small things interfere with your quest for holiness.