A few years ago there was a popular slogan on bumper stickers and t-shirts and an array of items that proclaimed, “Don’t sweat the small things.” We have heard similar comments so often, “It’s no big deal – just a little thing!” It’s the idea – though somewhat erroneous in most cases – that something is so inconspicuous that no one will notice.
Little things, though, can have huge impact.
I read some statistics about leaking faucets that arrested my attention. We have all been annoyed by the constant dripping of a faucet that, regardless of the applied pressure, just would not stop. Someone might look at that and say, “That’s not much water…just a drip…” Consider this: There are 1,680 drops in one pint of water which equals 3,360 to a quart. According to calculations it takes about 30 minutes to accumulate that quart of water. In 24 hours a consistently dripping faucet becomes 12 gallons of water. In one week, that is 84 gallons – 372 in a month – 4,380 in a year. Small things really do make a difference. Just in case wasted water doesn’t really matter to you, think of this: at $1.75 per 1,000 gallons that means your leaky faucet could be costing you almost $80.00 a year.
There are some people who think God doesn’t notice little things. It was my old pastor who used to tell us, “That man that is too big to do the little things is too little to do the big things.”
I learned long ago that the triumph of God’s church did not come by the gigantic shoves of His champions, but by the gentle everyday nudges of His everyday people who are God’s men and women doing God’s work in God’s way.
Little things…every day!
A precious saint who will stop and pick up a piece of paper in the aisle of the church – another who remembers the pastor’s wife on her birthday with a pie or a special lunch – the saint who slips a special gift to the pastor’s kids at Christmas – the one who anonymously (or not) gives a little extra in this week’s offering – These are all people who have learned the value of little things is not little.
We all need people outside our family circle who are committed to our children. It is no small thing for a faithful man of God to put their arms around the shoulders of a little boy and say, “If I can every help you, I will…” and mean it for a lifetime.
Years ago my wife received a letter from a young evangelist. He reminded her of many years ago when he was just a boy in our church. One day Sister Tenney drew him aside in the aisle of the church and simply said, “God will use you if you will let Him. He has a plan for your life.” It was such a small thing – in fact, she had forgotten about it. He never did. Those words finally emerged into a fulfilled call in the world of God. Little things.
“Go to the ant, thou sluggard, and learn of his ways…” Here is a little creature but in corporate union ants take care of their little things and consequently they become a tremendous colony. You are not everybody, but you are somebody. You cannot do all things, but you can do something. There’s a little task somewhere calling for you.
Sin always starts small. However, it is greedy. It never remains small. It always wants more. It may have been just a glance and a smile at coffee break then a lingering handshake then… Sin will always take you farther than you ever intended to go. It starts out small and ends up bigger than you ever imagined anything could be. One little pull on a slot machine can become a gambling addiction that costs you everything. One little “private” drink of alcohol can be the opening volley of the ravages of alcoholism.
“If you will be faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many.” It pays to be diligent in noticing the little things for God, His Kingdom, and His people. It also pays to be diligent in staying away from the little foxes that will spoil the vines. As my old grandmother used to say, “Son, take care of the pennies, and the nickels will take care of themselves.” That adage applies to other things in life as well. Take care of the little things and you’ll be surprised how you will find yourself able to overcome the big things. Take care of the little things and know that God will reward you with bigger things than you ever imagined.