Measuring minor victories


One person’s victory is another person’s reminder of failure.

I put my socks on by myself this morning. A minor victory don’t you think? No, not for most of you. Normally–and that word is loaded–I put my socks on every morning without thinking about what I’m doing. However, I hurt my back on Friday afternoon and couldn’t move without help. It hurt to sit, stand, lie down, cough, sneeze or do anything at all. It is amazing how the lumbar muscles connect to just about every other muscle group.

With high doses of anti-inflammatory meds, muscle relaxants, and walking (yes, quite counter-intuitive), I was able to put on my socks by myself by Sunday.

Funny how something we do without thinking one day becomes a huge accomplishment the next day. What changed? My perspective and my standards. If my perspective and standards remain the same, then I don’t view putting on my socks as a minor victory but as sign of continuing failure.

What minor victories do you overlook in your life because your standards and perspective are based on a set of assumptions that no longer fit? What minor victories do you dismiss as meaningless because they don’t seem to make a dent in the progress toward your desired goal? Maybe you handle a difficult situation with grace but because it didn’t turn out well you deem your graciousness to be of little value. Maybe a family member gets up and goes to work despite crushing depression but because they do it without joy, you don’t see the minor victory. Maybe a couple fights without curses and put-downs. Is it yet another minor victory?

This is Thanksgiving week. Let us take special notice of God’s grace and power when we observe minor victories in ourselves and those around us–especially in those areas of chronic struggles.

2 Comments

Filed under christian counseling, Desires

2 responses to “Measuring minor victories

  1. Jess

    Feel better, Phil!

    Yes, I think we often discount “minor victories” in both our own lives and the lives of others, whereas a slightly altered perspective would allow us to see them and celebrate them with thanksgiving, as you indicated.

  2. Jackie

    Thanks Phil, I know I needed to read this today. Glad you are feeling better. Happy Thanksgiving!

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