Finding love in small deeds.

Streams of Contentment

I discovered Robert Wicks when I heard him interviewed. He was talking over the radio about overcoming anxieties and helping others at the same time. A book that Wicks wrote is called Streams of Contentment. I ran out and bought it – one of the best self-help books I’ve read in a long time. I wrote a blog about this — click HERE to read.

Now I’m reading another small book by Robert J. Wicks called Riding the Dragon. The sub-title says, Ten lessons for inner strength in troubling times. His concept is simple: don’t hide from the dragon (your troubles) but instead face the dragon head on, get on its back and ride it!

A couple nights ago I was feeling seriously anxious about a number of things when I read the chapter about finding love. It helped my perspective – it really helped! Here are some bullet points by way of summary:

Anxious woman from finding love in small deeds

• In regard to others in our lives, don’t take people for granted and miss the power of their wonderful support. This can change our attitude and behavior toward them.
• Its easy to miss the precious daily opportunities to love others, especially when we are preoccupied with our own problems.
• We often get so quickly lost in our own schedules, needs and little problems, that we can’t respond in a generous, genuine, and helpful way. This is very sad because we are capable of so much good.
• People who are truly sensitive to others find their hearts filled with peace and joy.
• Surprisingly, this is more a sin of the wealthy than the poor; more apt to be a fault of the religious elite than those of simple faith.
• How sad when we miss opportunities to encourage and support each other because we are lost in our own world of tasks and agendas.
• This is sad because the combination of good support from friends and a deep, dynamic relationship with God can help us to move through even the darkest moments in ways we never expected.
• Great love is more often found in small deeds done than large actions about which we only dream.

Riding the Dragon book cover

The chapter concludes with a touching story told by a pastoral student who lost her child after a long illness. The story jolted me:

One Lenten season when I was struggling with my daughter’s illness, I tried to focus on Christ’s sacrifice. As I drove along I prayed, “Thank you God for sending your son to die for me.” In less than a moment I was answered with, “Thank you for taking care of Becky.”

It was a very real moment, and I know it was the Holy Spirit who spoke within me. I will never forget the split-second feeling I had of God’s vulnerability. It came and went so quickly it was almost as if it hadn’t happened. He was trusting me to take care of one of his own lambs. When I meditate on that time now I find myself asking, “What was it like for God when my daughter died?”

The story jolted me because I lost a step-daughter, Staci, a few years ago to cancer.

I would sincerely appreciate any feedback you would care to give on this whole topic, as it’s one that is ripe for discussion. If you are willing, please share your personal thoughts in the Comment box at the bottom of the blog. Thank you and God bless you.

BLOG TOPICS: I write content (in-depth) blogs about a mix of topics: Science and Energy, Health and Hiking, Inspiration and Hope.

The Gray Nomad ….. Read and think deeply.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord replied, “you are worried and upset about many things”.
[Book of Luke, chapter 10.]

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3 years ago

Yes; serving others is the mark of a true religion, and that of a dedicated Christian. Jesus Christ gave pure examples of His love for others, by rendering loving, selfless service. He stands supreme in this regard, in life and in death. This is a great subject, because it cuts to the core of Christianity…Love. The Second Great Commandment, “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself.” While not an easy thing to do, we get credit for trying and for reaching out to others, even in small ways. Maybe just a smile, as we are walking through the mall, or down the street. A generous smile can lift someone’s spirits, because it simply says we care. I appreciate this blog and I like all the comments. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I always need His help in serving others, and being aware their needs. Thanks Ian for helping us to find in our hearts more love for others.

3 years ago

Ian, I love what you have written! I think especially in these times there are so many around us that are struggling. I am guilty of feeling so busy and overwhelmed that I don’t slow down to look around me (beyond family, friends, and work) to see what I might do for others that would give them encouragement or help in some simple way! Thank you.

Barbara Leachman
Barbara Leachman
3 years ago

It is hard to take our eyes off our own dragons because they are so big and demand so much of our energy. It is easy to know what we are supposed to do, but hard to do it when our strength is spent. In this Covid time, we don’t see many people, but because we live in an electronic world, we can reach out with a few words of love to people we know. God sees our weakness and understands.

Bill Collier
Bill Collier
3 years ago


Have been going through a very difficult summer medically, just got over coivd with my family and am fighting a 8 week battle with Otitus Media (sterile fluid on the inner ear) that gives me vertigo and nausea. What God has taught me through this is how much I enjoy teaching my students and spending time with my friends. It is the little things that really count, and I will be very glad to get back to them. The rest, the worries of the world and big corporations/businesses/universities, just not worth worrying about. It has always been about those we love and work and play with, and a small deed done to a friend or neighbor is more valuable than gold. Hang in there, God is speaking the same to me too. I am so grateful for health and friends.


Karen Larre
Karen Larre
3 years ago

Beautiful, Ian. I love the Streams of Contentment book too!

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