Let the Chips Fall

By Linda Tancs

The expression “let the chips fall where they may” suggests allowing events to unfold without interference. One source indicates that the phrase originated in the woodcutting trade, implying that a woodcutter should focus on log cutting and not worry about where the small chips fall. Do you look at “the big picture” or do you get mired in the details? You can’t understand everything. And if you obsess over details, then you’ll likely worry and fall into sin (Matthew 6:25-30). Even if you see the big picture, remember that God sees the bigger picture (Psalm 139:16). Let God arrange the chips (Psalm 46:10).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Baby Steps

By Linda Tancs

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase—Martin Luther King Jr.

Have you ever marveled at the look of joy on a baby’s face as he or she takes those first steps? Does that baby know what a momentous occasion is being created for the parents? Probably not, but what any baby seems to know innately is that the joy is in the journey, not the destination.

As we get older, we tend to lose the simple joy that arises from accomplishing small tasks or taking small steps toward an ultimate goal. Part of the problem is our “now” culture—who has time for baby steps? We have to have it “now”—the new home, the promotion, the car, the successful business. It all boils down to a lack of patience. But if you’re not patient, how do you expect to hear from Him (Psalm 46:10)? If you can’t be still, then you won’t know or recognize the people and events that God has chosen to play a role in your journey nor will you be ready for them.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says there’s a time for every purpose. God chooses the appointed time (Psalm 75). Until then, be faithful in small things (Luke 16:10). Maybe you’ll need to write 500 queries before an editor likes your pitch. Or make 500 sales calls before you get the order. I once heard a story about a salesman who got excited each time a potential client declined his offer because he knew then that he was that much closer to the one who would accept it. Whatever your case may be, have a childlike trust in the journey. Then, as Luke teaches, you’ll be entrusted with bigger things along the way.

C’mon Get Happy

By Linda Tancs

During trying times it’s hard to smile, much less be happy. But that’s especially when one needs to remember that happiness is more than just an emotion—it’s a state of mind. Choose to be happy. You reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7).

Take a cue from the Nordic countries. Apparently, they consistently place in the Top 10 of the World Happiness Report. And they’re happy to share their secret. In short, they embrace mindfulness (an awareness of the present moment), kinship and life’s simple pleasures.

Sounds a lot like Jesus’s approach toward life, doesn’t it? He mastered the art of being fully present and commanded those around him to be attentive, active and alert (Mark 13:37). In so doing, we’re more able to resist the temptation to react to circumstances that would otherwise steal our joy (Matthew 26:41). Kinship is a source of joy. In Jesus’s ministry, kinship in the sense of community, or belonging, is a central theme (especially as detailed in the Gospel of Luke). Jesus instructs his followers in Matthew 16:24 to put the needs of others above their own interests. In other words, don’t be selfish. Taking every opportunity to find kinship with others increases happiness, as Paul told the Philippians. Simply put, you can’t be both selfish and happy. And if you want to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, then be still (Psalm 46:10), don’t worry (Matthew 6:25-27) and be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5).