It’s Not the Yards, It’s the Inches

I’ve been preaching almost every Sunday for 38 years, so you can imagine how many old sermon manuscripts I’ve accumulated.  The other day I was reading through an old one and found a reference to gas being less than a dollar a gallon.  As I write these words, gas is $3.35 a gallon.  How did gas manage to go up that much without the American citizenry storming the castle?


It’s the same with TV.  I realize I’m dating myself, but I remember when Rob and Laura Petrie (Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore) weren’t even allowed to share the same bed on prime time television.  The other night I was channel surfing during prime time and saw three people (yes, three people) taking a shower together.  And no, it wasn’t cable.  It was plain ol’ network TV.  How did we get from the Petries to orgies without good people throwing a fit?

Again, gradually.

Satan is amazingly patient.  He understands that if he were to be too aggressive with his agenda, we would be jolted awake and rebel.  So he takes the long view of things.  He works slowly and quietly.  He takes an inch here and a foot there…whatever we’re willing to let him have without a fight.  And, as the years pass, he comes to own huge chunks of terrain that once belonged to the Lord.

This strategy works so well because it is completely foreign to most of us.  We glorify speed.  We think in terms of quick fixes and instant results and assume that everyone else does, too.  It never occurs to us that someone might actually be patient enough to unfold a dastardly plan, slowly and quietly, right under our noses.

Here’s what breaks my heart:

Someday our kids and grandkids are going to be thinking about our current time as the good old days…that time when things were so much better.  And they’re going to wonder how things got so bad.

And the answer will be the same for them as it is for us.


Here’s a thought: Maybe those little battles that don’t seem worth fighting really are after all.  Maybe it’s not the yards we’re giving up, but the inches that are doing us in.  The next time you’re tempted to say, “It’s not worth the fuss,” stop and think.  Maybe, just maybe, it is worth the fuss.




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2 Responses to It’s Not the Yards, It’s the Inches

  1. Marg says:

    I am with you Mark we need to stand up for the little things, the rest will follow. I am sure I am not the only one thinking it is a constant battle, even with myself. Wanted to watch a new show I tv and finally taped it to watch. Needless to say I wish I had not watched it. It interrupted my sleep even! At first I was not sure what it was and then I remembered the show. not watching that one any more.

  2. Rosan says:

    Thank you so much Mark. Reminds me of this thought ” the world is a dangerous place NOT because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing”… Albert Einstein. I cringe at some of the things I see on TV, on the streets and all around us. I am still watching Leave it to Beaver:).

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