RANDY HUFF: Tending to The Small Things

The largest small thing in our lives is, after all, home.

“Go large or go home!” The words from my gifted friend stung and made me want to hide. I knew what he meant – “Do your best, be all you can be!” But the implication was more than I could bear. Does everything have to be large? Is value found only in the spotlight where people say “Wow!”? What about the 99% who live on the sidelines, hoping our lives matter, too?

The allure of fame is a common human problem and it helps to remember the ancient prophet who warned: “Do not despise the small things.” Little things matter!? How can that be? Small things are annoying. Children are underfoot, bills have to be paid, the dog gets fed (or not), the gas gauge signals empty, the phone rings again, the lawn needs to be mowed.

We remember small things matter at graduation time when all the hard work pays off. And we know it is true when a few cucumber seeds overwhelm our garden. Old aphorisms speak the same message: “A small leak will sink a large ship.” And, “Words are small like a match; and they can set a forest on fire.” One shot from one gun can start a war (and has) and a few dollars over time can become many.

These things we do well to remember. But in all these cases we value ‘small’ because we know it has large results. We toss the mortar board in the air, the ship is sound, we hope to avoid war and fire, we accumulate savings for the rainy day, and we might even boast of our cucumber harvest!

But is it only results that matter? Graduation is soon forgotten, ships are supposed to sail, few learn to hold their tongue well, trigger happy folks are always with us, we seldom have ‘enough’ to save, and no one really wants nineteen overgrown cucumbers!

Truth is, when results are counted we are left with ourselves and the quiet daily life of small things. These are the simple disciplines that teach us what matters:

  • tend to the mind and soul
  • sow good seeds.
  • fulfill your responsibilities
  • give care to your speech
  • check your anger
  • don’t let money rule you.

Do ‘it’ because ‘it’ matters, whether you ever get recognized or not.

And this comes around to the surprising truth in that somewhat grating challenge, “Go large or go home.” The largest small thing in our lives is, after all, home. Nothing is larger, and nothing requires more daily small attentiveness. In fact, forget large! I want to go home! Home beats “large” any day and pays the richest long-term dividends.

Those who find the blessings of home do so because they forgo the deception of large things and apply themselves to the vital necessaries of daily small things. Tending to these everyday cares builds us into people of substance and blessing, able to make and enjoy a treasured home.

What holds your focus and attention? It is easy to love large and large is not wrong of itself. But it oversells and leaves empty as many celebrities can attest. Small things are their own reward, worth the investment and the bounty of goodness they invariably bring.

They also help you build your life so if you never get to go large, you can always go home!

Randy Huff

– Randy Huff

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