It’s the little things that count.
I think we’ve all heard that phrase and probably subscribe to it in caring for the ones we love. However, there is a context for this phrase that we may not consider and yet is vitally important. Our walk with God.
Over a year and a half ago I was introduced to the concept of Micro Practices. Small, simple things that are both accessible and sustainable. Practices that have helped pull me out of “The Matrix” for just a few minutes each day and which help me to reorient myself to what is true and allows for the creation of a little space for God to move. Over time, I have found these Micro Practices have become both sustainable and surprisingly powerful.
The first is The One Minute Pause: The simple practice of pausing for a minute as I transition from one thing to another during my day. For example, I drive to work. Previously, I would get to work, park, turn off the car, get out and head into my day. Now, I get to work, park, turn off the car and pause. Sixty seconds. I take a few deep breaths. I tell Jesus I love him. I give my day to him - everything I know is coming and everything I don’t. I listen. “Jesus, anything you have for me this morning?” Every morning is different, sometimes its all of these, sometimes its just one. But, most importantly, it’s only a minute. I can pause for a minute right? At first it was actually really hard. Do you realize how long a minute REALLY is? But, over time and with practice “The One Minute Pause” has become part of my daily routine and it has expanded beyond my arrival at work and has transitioned to the minute before I head into a meeting. The minute before I get out of the car when I get home in the evening. I have found it is building margin into my life. Little spaces for God to speak. Little spaces for renewal and restoration.
The second is Connecting With The Real: I actually wrote about this previously in a post called MicroRescue. This practice consists of something that 1) connects me to something that is real and 2) reminds me of places that are special to me. For me it’s a shell, a stick, and a rock (the number is not important, it could be just one). I keep them in front of my computer screen at work and, a few times a week, I will pause and pick up one or more. I will roll them over in my hand. I will feel their texture and remember the place(s) that they represent. Places that are real and not artificial. Places where my heart comes alive. Places of freedom and life.
The third is Releasing Things and People to God: If you’re like me, you hold on to a lot. That hard conversation with a colleague, a friend or a family member. A prayer request or world tragedy that breaks your heart. All of the decisions we struggle to make on a daily basis. I tend to hold these things tightly in my mind and my heart; and, to be honest, it was killing my soul. One day I was reading in 1 Peter 5 and came across verse 7 – “Give all your worries and cares to God. For he cares about you.” I started doing it. Simply, quickly. “Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit – I give everyone and everything to you.” “Jesus, I give [FILL IN THE BLANK] to you. I release [IT/THEM] to you.” It’s really that simple.
There are many more of these Micro Practices that you can you lean into to open up space in your heart …
- memorizing scripture
- leaning into beauty
- getting outside
- purposely thinking about those you love
You will probably even find your own; specific to you and your heart. Honestly, they really don’t even have to be directly “about” God. The wonderful thing is that each one opens a place in my heart for it to breathe. A place, no matter how small, where I can find refuge and peace. And, over time, little by little, space for God to speak. Love. Comfort. Assurance. Strength. Courage. Counsel.
Ultimately, these practices – some daily, some not so much, have provided me with a truly special gift. The rescue of my heart and union with the one I truly and desperately need above everything else.
PS – If you find this helpful and want to talk or you have questions please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to connect.
These practices have been inspired, as usual, by someone else. Over the years, John Eldredge and the team at Ransomed Heart have provided the context and language for these practices to become real and accessible.
Also, if you want a deeper dive you may want to consider getting John’s new book coming out in February 2020 called Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad or Tish Harrison Warren's book liturgy of the ordinary