10“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?Luke 16:10-12
I tend to notice big things. Of course, they are the loudest and most noticeable. Fascination abounds with colossal — whether it be food, accomplishments, buildings, people. BIG grabs my attention.
The last few weeks I have made a concerted effort to notice the small things. For instance, shells (or sand dollars) on the beach. If I adjust my eye and look for the smallest shells, I am amazed by what I find. Every large shell has an equally impressive smaller version if you look carefully.
How about shrimp? Colossal shrimp make an impressive statement on a plate but the smaller striped shrimp I receive from Alaska pack a powerful punch and their tender sweetness cannot be rivaled by their colossal counterparts.
It is so easy to hurry past the small things in a race to big things that the magic of little is lost. Jesus said if I am faithful with small things, I can be trusted with big things. I think he meant things like responsibilities, finances, spiritual gifts, ministries. When I show myself faithful with beginning steps, he is faithful to open doors to more. But the converse is true as well. If I am not faithful when given little things, I will not be trusted with more.
Today I am grateful for the small things. Things like shells, shrimp and sand dollars. It’s been good for me to refocus and look for the small things. Sometimes those turn out to be the big things after all!
It occurs to me there is another place in scripture where Paul reorients our thinking. He says it like this:
25This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. 26Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.1 Corinthians 1:25-29
Hmmm….that leaves me something to think about! Little and foolish might just be where it’s at!