Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


My family and I were spending a few days in a 5300 square foot “mansion” of a home for vacation this winter.  It was massively discounted to me as a rental from a friend of a friend kinda deal.  But sadly, despite my eager anticipation to stay in this great casa on the hill, it’s been quite a let down really.  Certainly not due to the size of the house.  It’s massive with 6 bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, 2 decks, and a beautiful view of the valley below.  No, the problem is in the smaller details.

We keep blowing circuits cuz of crazy wiring.  Doors don’t open.  Showers don’t work.  There’s full size comforters on queen size beds.   Not to mention the fact that the carpenter in me is having a heart attack in this place.  Seriously, I’m not sure that there isn’t even one room in the house that I wouldn’t ask, “Hmm.  Wonder what they were thinking there.”  Walls are wavy, baseboards are weird, drywall is cracking.  But the kicker for me is this finished kitchen floor.  Twice, they made some kinda effort to put poorly placed pipes into the structure of the home by making up for bad craftsmanship with even worse finish carpentry and masonry.   There are so many ways to cover up this kind of stuff.  This is not it.

plumbers and tile guys are having a heart attack right here.

plumbers, tile guys, & finish carpenters are having a heart attack right here.

So, it’s a beautiful home that is awesome at 100 yards.  But from 10 feet, is still a long way from being done right.

But that’s not just true of this house, it’s also true of  families, marriages, jobs, cars, opportunities, and even churches.  Almost everything looks awesome from a distance, but then you get up close and you realize, “There’s a lot of clean up still to do.  This ______ wasn’t as nice as I thought.”    Some people go crazy trying to fix things, turning an appreciation for detail into an obsession with perfection.  Others just ignore it and say, “who cares?  It so doesn’t matter.”  And I agree, both are valid points from time to time.  Some stuff doesn’t matter.  However, if what you’re trying to create is a lasting impression to be celebrated, then you also know that there is no piece of art in a nice gallery that ignored the details.   The homes we love are the ones where the architect and the interior designer and the finish carpenters all worked together like a fine symphony.   The things we celebrate in life are the things where people paid attention to the details.

It’s the details in a bride’s bouquet,  the placement of food on a plate by a chef, the seamless and hidden engine wires of a hot rod rebuild, the finish cuts on a handrail… it’s even the design of a simple graphic that can cause you to stop and take note of details.  And the details, are what makes all the difference in the world.

The shakers, were known in the early 1800’s for simple, yet amazing furniture.  It has stood the test of time for hundred’s of years due to it’s amazing craftsmanship which I read once came from a believe and mantra they held onto:  “Give your heart to God and your hands to work.”  In other words, they saw the details of a piece as an act of worship to God.  So they cared about not just joining two boards together, but how they were joined together.  They wanted to be subtle, yet sophisticated.  And because they did, shaker boxes and furniture is still celebrated a hundred years after it was crafted.

I wonder what would happen if we viewed details like the shakers did?  What if they small stuff really is worth sweating a little?

What if on the next family vacation or youth group event that you plan, you pay attention to the details of the car ride there, not just the destination?

What if on your next date, you pay attention to what you do and where you go and how you look and turn the humdrum into one to remember and celebrate.

Maybe on your next e-mail to the team, don’t just punch out data, but format it so that it is easy to skim and where the most important details stand out the most.  Then over time, more people will open and actually read them and you’ll get more information across because you cared about the details.

On your next presentation, give some effort to add visuals to your stories and watch the memories and get it factor of your audience come alive.

Seriously, if you and I just give the details a little love and attention, we’ll take the forgettable and turn it into the celebrated.  The difference is -and always has been- in the details.

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