Guidepost: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

by Nikki Elliott


Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

- Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)

“What a day,” I yawned to myself as I got home late one night from studying. I looked at the clock and groaned at the thought of waking up again in four hours. Scrambled eggs seemed like the easiest dinner option before heading to bed. I quietly tried to dislodge a frying pan from the mountain of drying dishes without waking my five roommates who were asleep upstairs. Despite my meticulous efforts, the entire contraption of kitchenware collapsed into the sink. Why couldn’t we ever just put the dishes away? I grabbed the pan I had first been trying for and shuddered at its current state, it looked as if Edward Scissorhands was let loose on my favorite pan. Did my roommates not know you can’t use metal, let alone a serrated knife, on non-stick pans?! I tried not to get frustrated, but the list of annoyances grew in my head: the clutter in the living room, girls’ makeup strewn across the bathroom sink, missing house keys, sticky counter tops, unfilled work orders, the unnerving amount of times the freezer gets left open, the mysterious odor wafting from the mini fridge, our mod’s lack of a formal cleaning schedule, the list went on…


Later that same week, I came across a short devotion by a woman trying to see past her husband’s sloppy habits. She had two options, either live in happiness with a sometimes-frustrating husband or live in sparkling cleanliness alone. I immediately thought about my own living arrangement and realized that I too had these same options, live in happiness in a sometimes-messy mod with my roommates or live in a clean single dorm room by myself. From this perspective, a mountain of dishes and a scraped up frying pan seemed incredibly insignificant. I would not trade the movie nights, spontaneous dance parties, wardrobe-sharing, cookie-baking, pillow talks, and family dinners with the girls who have become like sisters for anything. I clearly needed a reminder of what things in my life are important to focus on and what things can stand to be overlooked. Today, when our mod gets a little disorganized or the dirty dishes pile up in the sink, I try to elbow past annoyance and choose gratitude instead. The six of us may be prone to untidiness, but an untidy mod carries a certain appeal when you get to live there with such amazing friends.


Lord, thank You for the unexpected ways You remind me of what is truly important in life.


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