We know it is often the little things that cause great damage. The minimum lethal dose of botulism bacillus is .00003 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. That’s like a mosquito derailing a 100 mile freight train. Remember it was an inexpensive O ring that took down the Space Shuttle, Challenger. And you know how your whole body can be affected by a slight pain in a key area, such as a toe or heel.
But the reverse is also true. It’s the little things that make life most enjoyable.
We tend to focus on major events: weddings, graduations, buying a house, beginning a career. But happy people and miserable people both have those big events. It’s not the graduations and celebrations that make life enjoyable. It’s the little things. Especially, the daily little things.
I read an interesting study that surveyed the habits of happy people. It was about little things. They were people who spoke of hugs, smiling at strangers and expressing appreciation to those most familiar to them (who we usually take for granted). They had awareness habits that changed their mindset. Awareness of things like good weather, birds chirping, the taste of food, and many other multiple little blessings that fill our days that we often overlook. In short, the little things that separate them from their unhappy counterparts had to do with being a blessing to others in many small ways throughout their day, and conscious gratitude for the many small blessings that came to them.
What is it that has been taking up space in your mind lately? That next house, new job, big event coming at school? Take a step back. Big events are few and far between. And their build-up in our minds can often disappoint. But there are little things all day long every day, waiting for us to make the most of them. Things like smiling at your husband, giving your wife a peck on the cheek, walking at the park and listening to kids laughing and playing, those little things, being a blessing and appreciating your blessings, really make life fun to live.
This is also the best way for me to keep constant awareness of the Lord’s presence. By asking him to bring those opportunities to bless others in small ways every day, and thanking him throughout the day for every little thing he blesses me with, keeps me in constant awareness of his goodness, and conscious of his direction.
“Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure with turmoil” (Proverbs 15:16 HCSB).