Little Things Make the Difference

Posted on: December 18th, 2011

We may remember major events, successes or failures, but they don’t always assure life’s quality. These “BIG” moments stand out because of their deep and lasting impact. I think people remember their graduation, wedding and the birth of their children. You probably won’t forget a hurtful or devastating experience either, especially if it changed your life. So it’s understandable that people focus on these moments.

How many events would you describe as pinnacle life moments? One might think there would be a lot over a lifetime, but that’s not true. There are several reasons for this. First, something viewed as significant today may not be tomorrow, because it’s replaced by a different and clearly more important milestone. Second, we may simply mature to a point where we realize it wasn’t so important after all. Third, an event’s place may drop if its impact in one’s life diminishes. I don’t know of many moments more important to a teenager than the first date, but how many would include it as one of life’s high points thirty years later? Now if you married your first date you might want to count it, but the point is judgments and opinions change.

While major events grab our thoughts, it’s the smaller points of life that often make the difference in quality. Milestones usually don’t happen unless we pay attention to the little details. For example, we don’t remember every test taken in route to graduation, but without passing many of them there is no graduation. So the little deeds, the everyday and sometimes mundane acts, really make the difference in who we are and what we do. They help qualify the “BIG” moments and improve them.

By taking care of the fundamentals we give ourselves a better chance for happiness and success. It is all about preparing to do well and then staying consistent over the long haul. Consider how everyday courtesy, gratitude and compassion help us achieve the life we want by fostering goodwill and peace. Sadly, if you look around society you will find them lacking among many. These qualities don’t just happen by chance, neither do they begin suddenly. If your fiancé is rude, ungrateful and uncompassionate before the wedding, do you really think he or she will change at the point of the “I do’s”? While the wedding begins a marriage, the ceremony is no guarantee for joy and success. It takes the little things to have a good marriage.

Up to this point I’ve been writing about areas we can manage, but we cannot control every part of life. For example, we don’t have power over the day a loved one dies. No one knows if or when he may face a debilitating accident. We are also living in difficult economic times and people lose their job through no fault of their own. When an event is bad enough it can affect the rest of our lives, and we may never forget the worst of these. Some deal so poorly with these moments that they never recover emotionally or spiritually.

A broken body may not mend, a deceased loved one may leave a void and money problems can cause difficulties, but none of these should define us. Some come through all of these unscathed, perhaps even stronger and better than
before. Why the difference in how people handle these events? Again, it has to do with developing a character, outlook and understanding suitable for moving forward. If your faith in Christ is active and growing by daily devotion and prayer you’re more prepared to handle life’s obstacles.

There is simply no way to overestimate the power of “little things” in one’s life. Christians enjoy many big moments while on this earth, but the greatest achievement is yet to come. There is simply no way for us to attain heaven without daily service and sacrifice. (Rom. 12:1-2) How can you ready yourself without regular prayer and study? (1 Thess. 5:17 & Acts 17:11) We must practice biblical love, compassion and gratitude to reach our goal. (1 Cor. 13:1-8) No one lucks into God’s blessings, and so if you are not doing the little deeds of Christianity there is no hope. (1 Cor. 15:58)

I want to end with this point, with proper preparation and fidelity you cannot miss heaven. (2 Peter 1:5-10) We know there are no guarantees in this life about earthly efforts. We’ve seen people get ready and work hard only to be foiled by uncontrollable forces. God promises us victory if we do the “little things” faithfully.

Terry Starling