The Importance of Little Things

I love photographing grand landscapes.  Because of this, my favorite lens is a wide angle, which allows me to capture large scenic areas.  But I live in the eastern United States where the landscape is more intimate than in the western part of the US.  So I often focus on smaller natural areas.  The photograph below is an example:

The area shown in this image is about 4 inches by 6 inches (about the size of a large index card). It is certainly not a majestic vista that looks out on miles and miles of scenery. But I think this image does reveal the detail of the richness of God’s creation.

I’ve had a number of large decisions in my life: who to marry, what area of the country to live in, what house to purchase. I try very hard to know and do God’s will in choices in these critical areas. However, the number of large decisions I have to make is miniscule compared to the number of small decisions I face every day. Doing my best to make good choices in the little things is, I believe, the right thing to do. But this approach to life also makes large decisions easier because I’ve had practice in making good choices and developed reference points to aid me in recognizing the difference between choosing wisely and choosing unwisely. Jesus put it this way: “You have been faithful over this small amount, so now I will give you much more.” (Matthew 25:23, The Living Bible)

There is another another area in which I believe that little things are important: my relationships with other people (whether I know them or not). Someone once said, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” When speaking to his disciples, Jesus said, “And if, as my representatives, you give even a cup of cold water to a little child, you will surely be rewarded.” (Matthew 10:42, The Living Bible) Jesus taught that I need to extend to other people that I encounter the same grace and mercy that God has shown me.

Finally (and this will come as a surprise to many people), I am a millionaire many times over. Before you ask me for a loan, I need to explain that I’m not talking about the amount of money in my bank account. I believe I am wealthy because of the countless small joys that have been a part of my life. Things like the humor from a cartoon in the newspaper, the taste of my wife’s chocolate chip cookies, the radiant warmth from a wood fire on a cold night, hearing a rufous-sided towhee call “drink-your-tea”, the aroma of corn popping. And even things like noticing a spider, less than an inch long on a wildflower.

Little things. They can be big.