In his book, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, Dr. Richard Carlson told the story of how he came up with the title for his book. A foreign publisher of one of his previous books requested that he seek an endorsement from Wayne Dyer for another upcoming book. Carlson tried to get it, but never heard back from Dyer. He was understandably shocked when the book came out and included an endorsement from Dyer that actually was taken off another book. He immediately had his agent contact the publisher to demand the book be taken off the market then he wrote a letter to Dyer explaining the situation and apologizing. He eventually received a letter back from Dyer who said simply, “Richard, there are two rules for living in harmony. #1) Don’t sweat the small stuff. #2) It’s all small stuff. Let the quote stand. Love, Wayne.” Carlson wrote, “Despite the obvious unethical use of his very famous name he responded with grace and humility; no feathers ruffled.”
Isn’t it odd that we think we must always protect ourselves, defend our turf, make sure that when we are wronged that the offense is righted, that we get our fair share, and we rarely notice that all that accomplishes is to make us uptight, stressed, anxious, angry and frustrated? It does not lead to peace in our own hearts nor does it bless others and create harmony with them. We get so focused on the concern that someone might take advantage of us that we lose sight of the myriad opportunities we have to simply be a blessing to them, whatever they may do.
While I doubt that either Dyer or Carlson means this, there is truth to the statement that “it is all small stuff.” Of course there are important things in life, and we must not pretend otherwise. But in the end we have to ask, what of our stuff is big to God? The thing that makes us able to not “sweat the small stuff” is that our God is so big. He is not threatened by anything that happens in our lives, nor is it out of his ability to control. If we truly believe this we will surely be able to relax. We can trust it all to him and make it our focus in life not to control things, not to get our fair share, but simply to bring grace to others in everything that happens, whether big or small. We can truly quit sweating the small stuff. May we all have fewer barking fits and way more blessing fits.