Read Isaiah 28
Focus on verse 10
Many years ago in another life, when I was a teenager, I learned a song at summer camp, which I remember to this day. “Little by little, everyday, little by little in every way…” is how it began. There are many things in life about which this is true, however, in a culture that is focused heavily on making things happen faster we tend to delude ourselves into thinking that big steps are better than little ones. While there may be cases where big steps truly are better – like when one is being chased by an angry bear – it can become problematic when we try to rush things that were designed to be done slowly – like attempting to deep-fry a Christmas turkey – they may appear to turn out okay, but I have yet to experience a deep-fried turkey that tastes as good as a slow roasted one.
In this chapter of Isaiah we read, “For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” (v. 10) The context seems to suggest that this is how the knowledge and message of God is taught to His people. In our culture we would prefer to try to download the knowledge and wisdom of God by high speed Internet and many of us try. We live in an age of information, where knowledge as the key to power, motivates us to focus on the accumulation of as much knowledge as possible, as quickly as possible in our pursuit of power. What we miss in the equation is the wisdom to apply that knowledge because wisdom can only be acquired little by little.
The rest of that little song I learned in that other life goes like this:
Little by little every day, little by little in every way, Jesus is changing me. Since I made a turn about face, I’ve been growing in His grace, Jesus is changing me, He’s changing me, my precious Jesus; I’m not the same person that I used to be. It’s been slow going, but there’s a knowing that some day perfect I will be.
Profound nugget of truth in that little old song…perfection can’t be rushed; it comes little by little, line-by-line, precept-by-precept. There’s no other way.