(There are spiritual parallels everywhere, I tell you.)
After dinner last night, I was assigned to go weed-wack out in the field where foxtails had taken over. They get caught in the sheep's fleece and ears, so it's important to get rid of them. So out I went.
The section I was weed-wacking was pretty large, but so bumpy that the lawn mower and tractor couldn't get it. As I started the weed-eater, I sighed as I looked at the expanse of foxtails that I was going to attempt to demolish. It was fairly daunting.
I got started. Soon, my thoughts were focused completely on making sure that these foxtails were destroyed. On a certain patch, I went to town. No foxtails would escape. I actually enjoy seeing the grass cut so effectively and was happy to see patches of plain, green grass where foxtails had dominated just seconds ago. I looked on with pride at my job-well-done and moved on to what figured would be the few remaining foxtails. But when I turned around, a mostly finished field is not what I saw. Rather, the foxtails were two, three, even four times more than I'd thought.
And... that's when the spiritual parallel hit me.
This one is fairly simple, but poignant. Simply put, don't miss the big picture. I got so focused in on what I was doing, my little spot, that I forgot, or at least underestimated, the rest of the field.
In the midst of all the things in life, it's so easy to forget about the big picture, the eternal perspective. We can get so focused on things like grades in school, subjects for next year, jobs, activities, homes, etc. that we forget the context all these things are meant to be lived out in. Obviously, good grades, wise choices, and quality work are good, God-honoring thing. But when they are the goal instead of a means to glorify God, that's when we've lost the big picture.
Of course, even though there was a field of weeds, I still did have to spend time focused on each little part. In no way am I saying that we shouldn't even focus in and put all our effort into one area of life. I believe that's how God gets work done through us. What I am saying is to keep in mind everything God is doing as you work on each aspect of your calling. Remember that no matter the situation you're in, God has a bigger plan into which every single moment of your life fits perfectly. Remember that in order to complete the weed-wacking of your life's field, you have to balance effort and determination in one aspect of life with a big-picture perspective.
From then on, my weed-wacking was much more productive. While still cutting every foxtail, I had re-focused my goal. I knew what it was I had to accomplish. Because of that, I conquered the field much more efficiently.
Take a little time to step back from whatever is bogging you down in life. Maybe you've been looking at the same patch of weeds for too long. Make the effort to see the big picture because you can only accomplish the goal if you know what it is.
See the big picture.