Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

There’s a significant date looming on the horizon of my life and that of my family, too. Tomorrow—Sept. 28th—is my mom’s birthday, the first since her death seven months ago on February 28th. I’ve tried not to think about it or any of the other “firsts” that await me, because when I do, it makes me sad. I don’t want to be sad.

But there’s one thing as the day approaches that makes me smile: the memory of my mom’s advice on the last good day we had with her in the hospital. First she made my brothers and I promise to always get along, then she said, “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

I’ve been thinking about that. It’s not a pollyannish approach to life. It’s a reminder to know what is and isn’t small. Most of it is small, but there are some things worth sweating. For example, I’m sweating this upcoming sermon series, “Rooting for the Anti-hero,” in part because there’s a lot at stake; there always is when I preach, I guess, but especially with this one because I’m using the discography of Taylor Swift and the culture of “Taylor-nation” as a context for the series.

Some of you are wondering, “who’s Taylor Swift and why are you using her music as a source of inspiration?” Others question why I would focus on someone like Swift. I’ve even been cautioned not to “dis” Taylor or I could get myself in trouble. It’s clear… this isn’t small stuff! But it’s stuff worth sweating over because it’s an opportunity to share hopeful healing love in a fearful broken world.

Sure I could live a safer, easier life like in my “lunchbox days” when there was “always a bigger bed to crawl into… and I believed in everything and everybody believed in me.” (Innocent, Taylor Swift). But I want to be all things to all people, that by all means I may win some for Christ, and I do it for the sake of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 9:22-23), including becoming a “Swiftie!” I hope to see you This Sunday, Oct. 1st and every Sunday in October.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Don
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