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All The Small Things

“He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:31-32‬ ‭NIV


“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” - Napoleon Hill

It’s the person who calls on your birthday who you hadn’t heard from in years...

The time when someone pays for your coffee as a random act of kindness...

The compliment from a stranger on how nice you look today...

The person who sits down with you at lunch when you’re new and don’t yet have a group of friends to sit with...

These are all seemingly insignificant acts. But when you add them up they start to change bigger things like your attitude, your outlook and even your response to others. What might happen if we all took more time to do the small easy things that never seem to get done?

"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."

Coach John Wooden

John Wooden, who at one point in his career won 10 NCAA basketball championships in 12 years as coach at UCLA, understood the importance of the small things. During his unthinkable run of victories he didn’t overlook what many would consider below him. One of his team’s helpers noticed a funny thing one day in the locker room. Following a game he saw the legendary coach bending down to pick up small scraps of paper that were left on the floor. Wooden could have asked a graduate assistant or even one of the players to do this. He had certainly earned their respect. But instead he led by example and did the small thing.

In the same manner, the famed New Zealand All Blacks rugby team members also follow this example. On a team that often has clear leaders in both captainship and skill level they never let it get to their heads. Following a match of brutal collisions, sweat and force the captains of the team can be found “sweeping the sheds” after the game. By setting this example, the younger players can see that no one is above doing the small things that help the team.

Recently on social media a heart touching story was shared by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Manager Dave Roberts passed a picture around the locker room from 2006 of Chase Utley, then on the Phillies and now with the Dodgers, signing an autograph for a skinny bald-headed ten year old boy. Taking time to do the small thing then, Utley brought joy to the young man as he was battling pelvic rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of cancer. [1] The young boy’s name is Devin Smeltzer. Twelve years later he is not only cancer-free, but in the tear-jerking video you can find below he is introduced to Utley as an A-league pitcher for the very same Dodgers organization. [2]

Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like the smallest of all seeds. If we plant this small and seemingly insignificant thing, it can grow and grow until it towers above the ground. Letting into your heart the love of Christ, even just a small glimpse of it, may start off as a small change in your life. But the more you tap into it, the small becomes much bigger. Before you know it you are making choices and decisions from a place of love that you never knew existed inside of you.

Maybe you are at a point where you are scared to step forward in your faith. You see the big church with a large community and it isn’t a place of comfort for you yet. Start small. Start by talking to one person you trust. Start by saying a prayer of gratitude each morning. Start by serving one person who can’t serve you back. Plant the small seed and watch it grow.

My prayer for you today is that you’ll start cherishing the small things. You’ll smile when you get to open the door for a stranger. You’ll laugh when your child gets the giggles for no reason. You’ll slow down to tell the homeless person that God loves them. Start small today and soon your love will grow so big that it cannot go unnoticed.


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