Saturday, February 21, 2009

bigger is not better

Yesterday, Deb and I finally played our third game of our new Super Scrabble Deluxe Edition. In the process of again rereading Scot McKnight's excellent book, The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others, specifically in the enlightening chapter, "A Society of Mustard Seeds," I mentioned to Deb that just maybe regular Scrabble, though smaller, and less explosive (as to the way you can get points) is better. Of course even a normal Scrabble game can be long, but each move is more significant than in the bigger version of the same. The verdict is still out for me on that one, as both are, one could say, different versions of the same game. And Scrabble has been "our game" over the years of our marriage.

In America it is nearly an accepted axiom that bigger is better. But not so according to Jesus. The kingdom of God does not work on or toward that basis. It's about humbly doing the little things well in loving God and loving others, in Jesus. From a parable of Jesus, a mustard seed, as Scot points out, does not become a mighty oak. Humble at its beginning, though becoming the largest of all the garden plants of Jesus' place and time. We must remember that unlike the world, God does not despise the day of small things. 

We may think our calling is small. But by grace to faithfully seek to follow Christ daily in every matter, to pray for others regularly, to do our part God gives us no matter how small it may seem, in God's eyes is highly significant. We must embrace our part and seek to grow in grace in it. God in Christ in the end by the Spirit is what counts. And we need to find our place in this great work of God. A work in which the last are first, and little is big.

What would you like to add to this?


The Wingnut said...

I've been feeling a bit insignificant lately, thanks for the reminder on the mustard seed!

And I'm telling you, Super Scrabble is where it's at! But it is a different game than the original, both in the points and how you have to play it. I can see where it would be difficult to adjust from the original.


Ted M. Gossard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ted M. Gossard said...


I'm guessing that if four play it it's a better game hands down. But even with what I said on the post, it's still essentially the same game, just a bigger version. I would be interested on what differences you see between playing it and playing to original. One thing for sure, you don't have to be so down if you get well behind. Plenty of opportunities, or chances for big points are coming.

But yes, the mustard seed, a good one from Scot from a great book.

And I just watched a Nooma video from Rob Bell on "Matthew"- now with the Lord. Quite moving and good.

Lanny said...

What would I like to add to this?


John said...

Ted -
Great thoughts. Bigger is not always better. In fact, "better" is not always better either. What's best is following Christ and having a peace about where He leads.
I'm fully convinced (and I've seen it in my life so many times) that as we follow His leading, He's going to bless it. And only then will we find true peace.


Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Lanny.

Thanks. I would expect more words from you than that! But at least preachers like to hear that, and so does this blogger.

Ted M. Gossard said...


Amen to that. We need to learn to follow the Lord's leading in our lives more and more. And I think we need to go on what we have, instead of wanting what we do not have, as we go on seeking to draw near and serve the Lord.