Let’s Get Small ~ blog
I know most of you won’t get this but in 1977 Steve Martin came out with a comedy album (a big black vinyl shiny thing the size of a large frying pan, like a CD on steroids) called “Let’s Get Small”. It went platinum. Getting small was a phrase he used to talk about getting stoned … uhhh that is not what I am talking about.
The third sign that I have seen along the journey of my life is the sign that says GET SMALL. Getting small is all about adjusting appetites and expectations. In America, we are indoctrinated to believe that bigger is always better.
Stop and consider our “bigger” nation. Bigger deficits caused by bigger consumption trying to meet bigger desires by everyone. When times are good and there is a good balance between producers and consumers we roll merrily along, and the government receives a growing stream of income from taxes. Too many people think the good times will continue to roll so it is market more, produce more, sell more, possess more become indebted more and then when a crisis strikes and people strike, our overheated economy has to cool off and all hell breaks loose.
Too many have been trying to Supersize their lives and simply becoming obese in both body weight and debt. Some Supersize their schedules and work too much in order to buy more stuff. However, this is at the expense of ignoring their health and relationships. Not enough time with their spouse leads to divorce. Not enough time with their children – leaving them alone, feeling rejected and growing up in a daycare facility being barely cared for by strangers. Anger burns deep in their wounded souls.
It is time to stop chasing “More” and start following “Less”. I understand that growth is a sign of health but when growth becomes excess bad things happen, life becomes out of balance and values are lost. What a wonderful thing it can be to get small and become free from the demands of excess and out of control appetites.
One thing I noticed in my sexual brokenness is that there was a growing appetite for more. Once a week is enough for a while, but it leads to wanting it every day. Then we want it multiple times a day. The obvious lesson is that getting more is not helping. It is only leading to wanting more. The appetite of our sinful nature is insatiable. Having more leads to it wanting more.
Getting small is about having less. It is the developing of discipline, thanksgiving, and contentment. It is seeing what we have and thanking God for it and remaining content in His blessings. Expressing thanks for what you already have is the antidote for feeling like you need to have more.
Here is what Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13;
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
This is great advice for those of us raised to be consumers at all costs. Because we should realize that the desire to consume more is never satiated. Paul says he learned to be content whatever the circumstances … and many times his circumstances were horrible. Often beaten and imprisoned, shipwrecked, robbed, stoned to death, and robbed.
When he arrived in a new town, he checked out the jail instead of the hotel because he knew that was where he would probably be spending the night. Yet, Paul said he learned the secret to being content no matter what was happening in his life. And he shares that secret with us …
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
So, what do we need to do to begin to experience Jesus giving us strength in all things? I believe the answer to that question lies in the verses before the ones we are looking at today. Paul makes a very strong statement in verse 4;
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!”
When we can move from being people who are unsatisfied with what we have or how things are going in our lives to people who rejoice in the Lord always, contentment begins to grow, and we are strengthened by the Lord.
One of the daily exercises I give to men who I coach one-on-one is for them to end their day writing down two things for which they are thankful. It can be being thankful for anything relative to their life, their relationship with God, whatever they can think of to be thankful for.
As this list grows so does their understanding of all the good things God has done for them and has given to them. Instead of lusting for what they do not have they are thankful for what they do have. With time this exercise will begin to bring contentment into your life, and you will learn that it is a good thing to get small.
Or in the words of John the Baptist…
“He must increase, and I must decrease.”