Living by the Yard by Toby Levering

“Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. 

Yard by yard, life’s too hard.”

Those words were often shared with me by my great aunt, whose simple and profound wisdom often fell on deaf ears.  This proverb did particularly because, well, frankly, I am a person who tends to take life in “yards” at a time.  All or nothing.

Whether it was the last minute, all-night cram session in college, the class preparation done at the last minute or the drive to catch up on my daily Bible reading by vowing to read Leviticus in one night, I often found myself tired, stressed out, and disappointed.

My hunch is that most of us live a “yard-by-yard” lifestyle.  To quote Dr. Phil “How’s that working for ya?” Probably, not too well.  Whether it is your spiritual life, your marriage, your children, on the job, when you choose to live “yard by yard,” you will eventually end up drained, depleted, discouraged, dismayed, desperate and defeated.  It’s a hard, stressful way to live. But, what do we do?

You ever wonder how the great ones were able to do it?  Ever consider how Caleb was able to wait his whole life to reach the Promised Land?  Ever muse how Moses led the Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness?  How did Jesus lead a three-year ministry that would transform the world?  Ever ponder how Paul survived those long days and nights in prison while ministering to a church in its infancy?

I don’t think it was because any of them was any less busy.  I think they made an intentional, repeated decision to prioritize God’s will first in all that they did.  Each one of them chose God’s will daily, a little bit at a time.

Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” Seeking first the Kingdom of God is of the utmost importance.  But, it doesn’t come in grand, majestic moments.  It comes in the simple, daily decisions to seek Christ, deny myself, and live with a purpose.

Take it from a recovering “crammer,” life is too short to try to live by the yard.  And, if you are a person who lives by the yard, I think you’ll find our new Sunday morning series, Declutter, to be very helpful in your journey.  Join us as we learn to live by the inch!