The Day of Small Things

We are in the middle of moving -- an experience most of have had and a process that none of us look forward to. 

When we move, we recognize just how much stuff we have. A successful move is just doing a bunch of small actions well. Get boxes. Pack boxes. Label boxes. Get a moving truck. Recruit friends. The list goes on and on. We cannot just say that we are moving, invite friends over, and be done with it (although some have tried this method much to their friends' chagrin).

Moving is days and days of small things. The boxes are packed one item at a time. Then they are unloaded one item at a time. It is amazing that all of the stuff that we own will be arranged in a different house in a few months time. It seems unimaginable with all of this stuff around me. Despite not seeing it yet, I know it can happen because I have seen it happen time and time again with friends when they move. It has happened in the past when we have moved.

When we do little things right, big things do happen.

Sometimes we do not do the little things because we do not like the little things we have to do. By not doing the little things, we will never be able to do the big things that would be the culmination of all those little things. Great things will come if we are faithful in doing the little things.

Jesus taught, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much” (Luke 16:10 ESV).  He later shared the idea that if we are faithful in the little things, then God will give us bigger things to do (Luke 19:11-27). Jesus wants us to know that our faithfulness is what matters, whether it is in great things or in the most minor things.

By doing the little things today, we will find ourselves where God wants us to be tomorrow. Often we would like to make a sweat free, giant leap, but most accomplishments in life do not come without a lot of hard work beforehand. One does not become a pro athlete without all of the sweat and hard work. Nor does one become a great musician without putting in hours upon hours of unrecognized practice. People who make things look easy can do that because they have put in a lot of hard work on small improvements behind the scenes.

In Zechariah, the prophet writes about people who despise the “day of small things.” We might find ourselves doing the same thing at times. Instead of doing the small things that would make our life better, we lose the battle of small things. Life is rarely wasted by a lack of desire for big things. Who doesn’t want a lot of money, a fulfilling career, an amazing family, an awesome community, or great friends? Unfortunately, those things are often not achieved because the effort is not put into the small things that are necessary to bring them about. We waste our time on the television or the internet when we could be doing small things that would improve our life. Those are just two obvious areas, but we can waste time on a myriad of activities. We all have good excuses to not do the things we should be doing or to do the things we should not be doing, but in ignoring the small things that we could do to improve ourselves, we miss out on being who we could be.

It’s never too late to get on track. Maybe God wants to do a small thing in you. It might be a reminder in the back of your head that you keep putting off. It could be a change that you know you need to make but you just keep avoiding. Whatever it is, God has more in store for you, but it has to start with that small change. If you don’t do the small thing, then the big thing that is in store for you down the road will never come your way.

We all know the familiar words of Neil Armstrong, when he became the first man to walk on the moon: “One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” Someday, if we keep faithful in the small things, we will notice that we have made a giant leap. In doing the small things, we can rest assured that we will find ourselves right where we are supposed to be.

May we all find the strength and patience to do the small things.