August 23, 2012

The little things

I’ve been on vacation this week at one of my favorite places – the sunny Northwest Florida beach.  Taking time away with the family is always something that is fun to do and allows me a great opportunity to recharge.

I have been reminded this week though, by watching my 5 and 7 year old on the beach, just how important the little things are in life.

 You see, our kids love to find “treasures”.  Our son especially loves to collect them.  Every morning, the kids and their grandparents go out onto the beach with a real live metal detector and look for any possible treasure they can find. This includes sea shells, as well as bottle caps, coins, left over sand shovels, etc. This is a special time that they have with their grandparents and my wife and I love to watch them from the window in the room as they “search”.

 What I have noticed this week is that our children are just completely fascinated by all the little things that they find.  Many of us would consider them “junk” by any standard and would never even pick them up, let alone want to keep them in our possession.  But our kids actually want to PLAY with all of these things!  They turn bottle caps and left over metal tent stakes into a “hockey game”.  They use leftover sand shovels and broken sea shells to dig moats and decorate their king’s castle (in which the bottle caps adorn the tops of it – can you tell we have lots and lots of bottle caps??). 

 What I am seeing is that our children are noticing and loving even the smallest of things and are rejoicing in them and playing with them as if they were the best treasures ever.

 Do we do this with the little things we see in life every day?  Do we even see the little things in life that are happening around us all of the time?  The person that holds the door open for us, or the power bill receipt that shows up and our monthly bill has been lowered by $12, or that person at work that offered to go to that meeting you needed to be in so you could go to your daughter’s gymnastics recital, or the person at the four-way stop that lets YOU go first (gasp!) instead of barreling through when it was unclear whose turn it actually was. 

 So often we take for granted the “little things” in life that make life what it is, and we just consider them to be “junk” – not even acknowledging them.  If only we could see things through the eyes of children!

 “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matt 19:14 (NIV84)

“And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like the little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Matt 18:3 (NIV84)

 We should take a cue from the Master and try to look at things through the eyes of little children.  Jesus recognized this and mentioned it several times for us while he was teaching.  As I slowed down my thoughts this week I caught a glimpse of what He was talking about first hand.

 My encouragement to you today is to not be discouraged by all that is going on around you, but to embrace it.  To look for the little things that are showing up and actually making an impact on your life.   Little things that mean so much more if we were to just “see” them.

 What little things that you didn’t “see” today can you now recognize and rejoice in?

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