Sometimes the most important things in life are not the things that get the most attention, are the most noticeable, or take up most of our time. Sometimes they are the little things: the kind words that will lift someone’s spirit; the short prayer that needs to be said; the small gesture of support; the few minutes that it takes to listen. The problem is that we often lose sight of the little things in life because they don’t scream for our attention. We’re so busy taking care of the urgent that we don’t have time for the little things even though we know how important they are.
The little things are also important in our spiritual lives. As Christians we can become so focused on the things that to us seem big (important) that it’s easy to overlook the little things. We like the spectacular, the exciting, and the impressive so much that we never consider the impact that the little things can have on our lives. Somehow we’re convinced that God is only in the big and that He certainly cannot be in the small. But that was not the experience of the Old Testament prophet Elijah (or of many of the other prophets). After his stunning victory over the pagan gods of Israel on Mt. Carmel, Elijah fled into the wilderness from Queen Jezebel who had threatened his life. It was there that God taught the prophet an invaluable lesson, one that we also need to learn. Standing on the mountain, Elijah watched for the presence of God. As he watched, hurricane force winds swept by; an earthquake shook the mountain; and finally a forest fire destroyed everything in sight. But God was not in the wind, the earthquake or the fire. Then the prophet heard a still small voice (I Kings 19:12) and it was in the small voice that God spoke.
It reminds me that little things aren’t so little.
A little thing can make a big impact.
Sometimes we think we have to do something big, to make a difference in someone’s life. But this isn’t true. Sometimes, the smallest things make the biggest impact.