I’m a walker. It’s my preferred form of exercise. And I try to do it each day for 30-40 minutes. My pace is about 3 mph so I’m not really pushing myself but I sort of enjoy it and know it’s good for me. Therefore, I do it.
But of my two pair of walking shoes, one of them really gives me issues. In the form of teeny, tiny pebbles. I have no idea where they come from. Perhaps my insoles are breaking down and as pieces rub off, they eventually rise to the surface where I feel them.
Though I try to keep walking when I become aware of them, ignoring the discomfort and annoyance, most days I end up sitting on a curb, removing my shoe, and dumping the contents. Of course, as I’m walking it feels like a boulder is in my shoe. Yet it always, always turns out to be a barely seeable piece of sand or other debris.
It’s a BIG problem.
So, why can’t I simply ignore it and keep walking? Why can’t I put up with the annoyance and continue on my way? Because small as it is, it’s still a problem. And to the sole of my foot it seems to be a BIG problem.
I’ve been dealing with this for over a year. And it wasn’t until the other day that the spiritual application finally hit me. (Do I hear a big duh here that it’s taken so long?)
Simply put, little annoyances that aren’t addressed do not always go away. Better to take care of them before they grow into big problems with big repercussions.
The Bible has much to say.
The Bible is very clear about the effect of little things, both positive and negative. James 3:3-4:
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. So here we see that something as small as a bit in a horse’s mouth or a huge ship’s small rudder can easily change the direction of each. And that can be very positive.
But the opposite is also true. James 3:5-6 shows some of the dire consequences that can occur because of small things:
A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.
So, what’s the point?
The point is that the ability of something small to accomplish something great is not to be missed. And it works both in a positive way and a negative way.
Back to the pebble in my shoe. Teeny pebble=big annoyance. Enough so that I have to stop every time and empty out the shoe. Teeny pebble=big life lesson and a reminder from God (as outlined above).
For me the point is that it is often easier to notice and take action on the big things that happen in our lives. But we should never lose sight of the little things. They can be every bit as important. The Holy Spirit can speak to you in a dream to pray for someone but that same Holy Spirit may simply nudge you to do an act of kindness for a neighbor.
I usually take note of the big things happening but can fail to notice the every day “little” things going on around me. I want to change that. I want to be vigilant. Sometimes those little things will be warning me about big dangers or changes ahead. Sometimes they are whispers of reassurance. And I need them all.
How about you?
Have any of you had to learn this same lesson about taking note of the little things? If so, please share. I’ve love to know more.