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The medieval trivium consisted of grammar, logic, and rhetoric—the foundation of all higher learning, including the quadrivium: geometry, astronomy, arithmetic, and music. Now “trivial” means inconsequential, frivolous, scarcely necessary. But clearly its etymology is—beyond the basic “three”—the idea of something that is, well, basic. And it’s easy to ignore the basics, until you don’t have them. Milk, for example. I never think about it, until I pour a cup of coffee or a bowl of cereal and discover there’s NOTHING to put in it. Inevitably this disaster occurs early in the morning, too.

So heed the wisdom of my former student Abigail, pondering grammar to the glory of God.

As Christians in this time, we are compelled to set ourselves apart as fellow sufferers for the gospel–and if the gospel permeates us, it envelopes everything in our lives and causes us to yearn to glorify God in all things. Thus, we must hold on to the knowledge that we know to be true, and realize that through it we might glorify the Lord as we “set the believers an example in SPEECH, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

Nothing in our lives and work is too “trivial” to be offered to God, as Brother Lawrence learned:

“Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do. . . We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.”

“Pick up a straw,” or correct a comma-splice—the motivation is what makes it worthwhile—for the love and greater glory of God.