It’s January when new goals, resolutions, and good intentions are swirling around in our minds. One of my goals is to serve other people outside of my family. I don’t want to keep my focus so nearsighted that I forget other people and families have needs too. As a caregiver to two in my own family, I often want to serve other people more, but I find it challenging to make the time and have the energy to follow through. I have tweaked my perspective and simplified my approach. Maybe these ideas can benefit you too!
We all want to be encouragers and difference-makers in other people’s lives, but do we do it? Do we know how? If you are like me, I sometimes make it too hard. I want to do grand things for other people. The grandeur of big ideas lives in my mind. Those ideas get filtered through reality as complicated and overwhelming. The grandeur exposes the limitations of my time, energy, resources, finances, or talent. I want to do big things for other people. Yet, too often, I get overwhelmed with my big ideas and do nothing.
Go big or go home, we say. Maybe we should go home, but only long enough to rethink our approach to serving, encouraging, and making a difference in the lives of those around us. Big is not always better. Big does not always get things done. Big can be complicated. Small can be the new big in serving and encouraging those around us. We all can do small, and we can all make a difference. Small needs a chance to show what it can do!
This isn’t a bash on big. There is a time to go big, but we can’t do big every day. Big is special in its own right. We should respect big but have a new admiration for the power and effectiveness of small.
Doing small acts can free us from procrastination. There is no reason to put off the simple, small action we can do more easily and sooner. We could make our friend going through health issues a beautiful quilt with embroidered Bible verses, but we know we won’t get this done, not likely. Or, while we are at the store, we could pick up some paper goods and practical things to drop by her door, along with a note of encouragement. This example is doable. Besides, Jesus never made anyone a quilt!
Small, doable acts can free us from guilt. All too often, we have a big idea that masquerades as a good intention. Good intentions left undone equal guilt for us and nothing for the person we want to serve or encourage. “It’s the thought that counts.” Sadly, most good intentions and thoughts go unknown, unseen, unfelt, and uncounted.
One of the well-known stories in the Bible is Jesus feeding the 5,000. John 6:9 says, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” We know the end of the story. Jesus multiplied the small, seemingly not enough, and fed the people. Jesus did the big work with the boy’s small. This same recipe can change the lives of people around us, our small multiplied by God’s miracle-working big!