Something that I’ve been thinking about a great deal recently is just how much happens over the long haul as the result of a relatively low level of effort, rather positive or negative. In just a little bit of time, we could choose to make ourselves lunch, instead of whipping the car into the closest and/or cheapest drive thru. This little bit of expense in the time world adds up to a time savings the next day when you enjoy your homemade lunch, but also saves us money. Typically, if you gave me $2.50 per day to make a satisfying homemade lunch, I could come up with a tasty and probably more healthy alternative to the McDonald’s value menu. The average fast food lunch can cost anywhere from $3.80 to $6 or more, not counting happy meals. : ) Each day you could be saving, for example, 1.50 per day. 1.50 per day x 5 days and you’ve got 7.50. If you take that out to 50 weeks in a year, you will have saved $375, one day and $1.50 at a time. I don’t know about you, but $375 could come in handy in the Greenwood household.
This same principle holds true for exercise, weeding the garden, losing or gaining weight and parenting. A little bit of quality and intentional effort, or a lack thereof will definitely lead to a long term result. Whether we like the result or not is up to us and our willingness to put forth a consistent effort.
If you never watch what you eat, never exercise, before you know it you will be a year older and 10-15 pounds heavier. If you started lifting weights today, and consistently worked those muscle groups over and over a little bit at a time, you would increase your strength in those muscles and be healthier.
A little bit at a time….
Is such a simple and undervalued concept, especially in today’s microwave, internet society. We want what we want, NOW. Very few people practice delayed gratification these days, and that’s why people’s credit card debts are higher today on average than ever before. Talk about a little bit at a time. Some of you reading this today are in trouble in this way, and you got there a little bit at a time. You’ll get out of debt a little bit at a time, unless you win the Powerball drawing, that is.
Most parents I think undervalue the importance of this principle with their kids too. Think about it. We work 5-6 days a week, all year long, with a couple weeks off for vacation, to support financially the lifestyle we think we need for our families. This often results in running a rat race schedule that leaves us tired and just wanting to take it easy. For many families, this hectic pace cuts into family time the deepest. I can remember very busy times in my life (like now, for instance) where I felt like I was working non-stop on one worthwhile pursuit or another when I wasn’t sleeping, and just knowing I wasn’t giving the time I needed to give to my kids.
A little bit at a time, our kids grow, and as they grow our relationships with them either grow fuller and deeper or shallow and surface. If we have shallow relationships with our kids, do you think they will trust you when life smacks them in the face? This may come in the form of language or activity they see at school. If you have sons, it WILL come in the form of something they see on the computer or a DVD.
A little bit at a time…each day, every day, will help prevent this shallow relationship. Commit your kids to the Lord and then work like you would work if you were trying to land that big sale, or that promotion, or arrange your schedule around an event or game.
Be there for your kids, it only take a little time to make a BIG effort