Our church has been doing a sermon series on the liturgy of life. In a church sense, liturgy typically refers to your rituals, songs or practices you routinely do in each church service. This sermon series, though preached in a church, has focused more on what a liturgy in our day-to-day lives looks like. What daily practices do we have?
I think it's incredibly easy to get caught up in the big wins and big moments. A marketing campaign that wins an award. A successful product launch. Getting a huge new job or promotion. We look at the wins of other people - or even our own wins - and forget the little steps we took to get there.
Everybody wants a revolution. Nobody wants to do the dishes.
I feel like our biggest moments are often the culmination of a lot of consistent yet unglamorous activities that compounded over time. Little things like consistently getting out of bed early to read up on trends, hitting small milestone deadlines on projects, being on time for meetings, doing small self audits on what is working and what isn't, etc. These aren't things that are going to land you a feature on the cover of a trade magazine. Though without those small wins, I don't think the big ones would be possible.
What I learned from high school cross country
Practical things every day make a huge difference. The easiest tangible example for me was running in high school. Our team won three straight state titles. Sure, we had one great race on the day of the state championships. Leading up to that day, we had a lot of small wins of eating right all season, avoiding activities that risked injury during the season, icing after workouts, stretching, doing early morning easy runs to build a base before school.
A single one of these activities on their own didn't win us a state title. Shoot, my senior year we lost to a team by over 50 points just a few weeks out, so they didn't even help us win other races in the season. However, those small practices compounded on themselves over time to lead to success in the long term.
Re-learning all over again
Personally, I'm trying to re-establish what those little habits looks like for me. Having a newborn the last few months has thrown the normal routine totally out the window. With the lack of sleep and holiday schedule, Megan and I were purely trying to survive.
Now, Campbell is starting to sleep a little more regularly and I'm no longer in a fog every day like I had been those first couple of months. Sure, my routine will never be the same again with a child - it's a new reality. I'm trying to figure out how to re-establish small positive habits that will build long term positive dividends.
More importantly, as Campbell gets older, I know she'll be watching what I do. What do I want her to see? It won't be the big wins that make an impact on her. It'll be what she sees in the mundane things I do every day.
It takes courage to care about the mundane. The every day things that don't reap instant rewards but aren't worth ignoring. Our care and concern over little things will have a ripple effect on the big things over time. What kind of ripple effect are you creating now?