Attention to Detail

No matter how small the task at hand may seem, how you perform that task will show who you truly are.

I’m always amazed when watching the precision of military honor guards. I appreciate the reverence they add to many occasions, especially when posting the colors at an event or when they fold the flag from the casket at a funeral. The guard walking the post at the Tomb of the Unknowns adds that air of reverence. And an honor guard attending to government officials displays a similar respect for those he is serving and the deference their offices deserve.

So I expect to see the crisp, formal movements of a marine attending the door at the White House or assisting with a State event. But I was surprised today when I saw that same act of respect after President Bush had boarded Marine-2 to leave the Capital grounds following the Obama inauguration ceremony.

The two Presidents Bush and their family boarded the helicopter. Of course the next step is to close the doors. But no lackey ran up and slammed them shut. Rather, a marine in full dress uniform was stationed there to march up and closed the doors with the same snappy turns and flourishes that we have seen in military drill teams on parade grounds.

He was simply closing a door. But he is who he is: an honor guard. So he closed that door with the same respect and honor that he would have used to salute the Marine Commandant.

Many people forget the truth of what that marine has been taught. No matter how small the task at hand may seem, how you perform that task will show who you truly are. Jesus taught the same thing: “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”*

At another time, Jesus spoke of the challenge of living the Christian life. He promised reward for those who take care of the little things: “You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.” Those who won’t do the little things of the Christian life are surely not going to do the greater things and they are showing themselves for what they are, unfaithful. So Jesus decrees, “But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness.”**

So often, people think they are Christians because of the rites they have observed or the fact that they attend church services. But Jesus’ statements above show that when we haven’t done the little things, he no longer considers us Christians. When we haven’t shown kindness, haven’t shared with the less fortunate, haven’t controlled our tempers, haven’t watched our language, etc., we haven’t done the little things.***

What does that tell me that I need to change in my life? Each of us need to ask this question.
___________
*Luke 16:10
**Matthew 25:14-30
***compare Matthew 25:34-46

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