Gaining an understanding of the little things

Published 1:00 am Saturday, February 8, 2014

It is not the big things in life that wreak havoc; it is the little things. One loud sonic boom of a plane flying overhead doesn’t bother a person as much as the soft, constant ticking of a loud clock.

In the same way, a constant drop of water will rot a board and will cause erosion in dirt. Likewise it is the little things that destroy human intimacy.

After suffering through the various trials and tribulations that life can bring, it takes a lot for each of us to open our hearts to other people. Sometimes we don’t even understand all the tough times that we have been through…so we reason that it will be doubly hard trying to open up to others.

In the words of Song of Solomon 2:15, we will not share our tender grapes with other people. We may share the grapes of wrath but not the tender grapes.

The “tender grapes” represent the budding intimacy in relationships. It is those things about us that both touch and expose our hearts. The tender grapes can be a growing relationship between a mother and daughter or a budding relationship between a father and son. It can be a relationship between two friends, two church-members or even two co-workers.

When we expose our hearts to others, it is the tender grapes that we are exposing. When you have suffered through the vicissitudes of life, it is hard to share the tender grapes.

The unfortunates of life train us to shut down in certain situations. When we shut down emotionally, usually there is no use in talking to us because we are “finished with it.” Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Relational intimacy is not something with which we were born. Most of us are still learning how to truly open up to other people. Husbands are learning to open up to wives and wives are learning to open up to husbands.

I have been married fifteen years. My wife is still sharing some things with me and I am still sharing some things with her. I also have to confess some things to my sons about my life when I was their age and even some of the mistakes that I made as a younger man.

I grew up in a house with several adults and many, many children of whom I was the youngest. My grandfather’s voice could be heard booming at all the boys: do this, do that, and do the other.

When I had boys I “boomed” too. My sons would always go to their mother and ask why I was mad at them. They wanted to know what had they done to upset me.

They would go behind chairs or in the other room and cry. My tone to them said, “I am constantly mad at y’all.” My point is that if we don’t pick up on the little things, we will ruin relationships. It’s the little things.

A husband may spend his last to please his wife but all she wants is to spend a little time in his arms talking. It’s the little things. Sometimes it’s just the thought that counts.

Then too, the Song of Solomon has been portrayed as a lovely allegory of a Christian’s relationship with God. Sometimes we think that we have to do all of these grand things to please God, and all God really wants is for us to do right in the little things.

It is in the being obedient in the small things that bring us closer to Him. God wants us to have some intimacy with Him. Said differently, God wants to cuddle up with you and talk. Have you ever been to the place where time stands still and you are there with God?

God is the easiest person of all with whom to be intimate. With God we cannot falsify the truth. God knows more about us than we know about ourselves. He knows what our next move will be. God even knows what motivates us.

So rather than invite God to get to know us, we have to spend time getting to know Him. He wants you to invest some time in Him. You don’t have to sing to Him – although you can. You don’t have to preach for Him – although you can do that too.

You don’t have to wear white. You don’t have to bring any money. Just spend some time with Him. Turn the radio off. Turn the TV off. Turn the cell phone off. Tell your friends you will get back with them.

These are the “little foxes” that ruin your budding intimacy with God and with others. Go into your “God-place” or “God-space” and spend some time with Him. As you do this regularly, you will understand the “little things” a lot better.

Rev. R.D. Bernard is pastor at King Solomon Baptist Church. He can be reached at 601-638-7658.