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Doing the Minimum

These days I think it’s especially helpful to establish minimum achievable goals. It’s easy to think about all the stuff we should be doing but can’t do because of the coronavirus. Instead, we might ask, “What is the minimum that I know I can do today?” Setting an achievable goal is always helpful. I’ve been starting the day by doing a simple workout in my garage. I can’t go to the gym anymore, but just 30 minutes of movement really helps me to clear my head, and reduce stress. Stepping up and down on the front porch steps for example, doing some push-ups and sits ups, trying some deep knee bends, walking around the block, or just moving around your home is more effective than we give it credit for. I encourage you to think about the minimum you know you can achieve. After my “home workout”, I made the bed today and got dressed just as if I was going to the office. I read somewhere that when we dress like we’re at work, we actually concentrate better and work more efficiently when working from home. Next, I sat down, opened my devotional Bible, and landed on a story in Luke 7: 36-50 about how much Jesus appreciates our minimum efforts - which is why I’m sharing this today.

In Luke’s account, Jesus is talking to a Pharisee named Simon who fails to show him the most basic Middle Eastern hospitality when he invites him over for dinner: a water basin to wash his feet, and a kiss on the cheek. A woman of questionable reputation suddenly bursts on the scene, washing Jesus’ feet with her own hair and anointing them with costly perfume. It seems she was trying to make things right when she saw Jesus being dissed by this Pharisee. Jesus was not asking Simon to kiss his feet or to wipe them with expensive perfume – just a traditional greeting. In the same way, Jesus welcomes a boy’s tiny lunch and then uses it to feed a multitude. He considers a cup of cold water given to a stranger as though it was given to him. He does not require heroic faith from us today…just simple faith. Our mustard seed of confidence and hope is what God uses to move mountains and change the world.

So take care of yourself physically today, and know that you are also taking care of God’s temple. Call a lonely friend today and know that you are caring for God’s friend. Feed your family today and know that you also feeding God’s Son – the unseen guest at your table. Do the little things today, do the minimum in His name, and rejoice.

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