I am walking with my two-and-a-half year old grandson. He is small and, whilst in the stroller, he is even closer to the ground than usual. He chatters and comments about every little thing he spots lying around. From my high vantage point I can see ahead and there, to my dismay, lies a dead squirrel. I push a little faster and point out the berries in the tree above. It doesn’t work. We are no sooner past the dead critter when a little voice loudly shouts for me to stop. “Backup!” he instructs. I meekly comply because I know that arguing with him will accomplish Absolutely. Nothing. I back the stroller up to the sounds of beep-beep-beep coming from below. The two of us contemplate the dead squirrel. The creature is laying on his back, mouth gaping open, eyes stock-still in his head, legs sticking out like pegs. The once fluffy tail lies bedraggled beside him. I gape in horror, thankful that there is no blood and no guts hanging out anywhere. The child inspects the small creature for some time and then in a soft, sad voice he says, “Aww, the little squirrel.” Shamefully, I kick into overprotective grandma mode. “Oh, don’t worry,” I soothe. “Perhaps he’s just taking a nap.” My grandson looks incredulously at the stiff-as-a-plank, wide eyed squirrel and frowns at me. Then all nonplussed and matter-of-fact he says, “Naaaah, I think he’s dead.”
We move on.
The moral of the story – small can be just as smart as big. (In this case, smarter.)
I’m not sure where the phrase “go big or go home” originated but I’m not particularly impressed by it. I see God in the small all the time. The honesty and smartness of small children, the life changing effects of small kindnesses, the small daily choice to not loose our temper, or the small step of asking for forgiveness when we do. God, in all his magnificent glory, is in each one of these small acts.
Life is seldom determined by big, bold, over-the-top decisions. It is mostly small, daily moments and daily choices that set us on our path. When we, step-by-step, follow Jesus we find ourselves on the right path.
Our ministry – that unique work that God wants to do through us – is typically not large and complicated and unattainable. It is one-step-at-a-time simple. It’s when we are overly impressed with wide and large and big that we miss the point entirely. It is not that big is bad and small is sacred. It is that both are immaterial to God. Jesus had immense impact in the lives of small groups as well as large crowds. He went about his Father’s business, proclaiming that the Kingdom of God has come, to the outcast and to the king and neither was more important than the other.
It is not that big is bad and small is sacred. It is that both are immaterial to God.
I’ve noticed that in creation, God has taken as much care with tiny flowers as he has with large trees. Both reflect his glory and his character. Both are beautiful beyond measure.
We live in a world that seems to disparage small and honor big. This cultural trend can lead us to ignore small beginnings or small decisions or small moments. Yet most endeavors big started off small. If you truly look you will find that it grew large through the small, faithful steps of a few.
The small moments and small steps that are taken in obedience to God are important. They matter. These small steps deserve our attention when we take them. Also, our support is needed when we see them taken in others. It is often these small steps that are the biggest leaps of faith.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.” -Luke 16:10