By Becky Siewers
On one of our cooler days recently, I took a walk with one of our grandsons. He is only 2 1/2, so everything in his world is still new and exciting to him. I was reminded of how wonderful even the little things of life can be through his eyes that day.
He stopped and examined, questioned and delighted in each new discovery – the different kinds of leaves, rocks in shapes and sizes, flowers and twigs that have fallen from a tree. With each find came a question.
We watched a machine as it tore up the ground, and I tried to explain to him how they were preparing the ground for a new building. We watched as a plane flew over high up in the sky. He actually waved to it convinced the people would see him! He loves trains, and his face lit up with pleasure as we crossed the tracks and he could see everything up close on those tracks. All the things I take for granted were pure delight to him on this special walk.
We returned from our adventure with pockets full of things he had to bring home so he could share these treasures with others, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies”(St. Mother Teresa).
Sometimes we hear and see things, but we can easily overlook them because we think they are too small to bother with somehow. It can happen when we are listening to the word of God but not closely enough to understand the true message. We are easily distracted, so it takes a deliberate effort to allow the message to really find a home in us. I find this can happen during the readings at Mass and the homily.
We need to open our ears and really listen to what we are hearing. I would have missed so much that day from that precious little boy if I had tried to hurry that walk and not take the time to listen and delight in the things he was discovering! The older I get, the more aware I am of ways those small things can make a change in our lives. Tiny things, but the world is made up of tiny matters.
We have to stay faithful in large things and taking on the world, but also remember to stay faithful in the small things because small things the size of a mustard seed eventually move mountains. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” (Aesop).
I have the blessing of being on a team in our parish that prepares meals for families after funeral Masses. This is a small gesture for our team, but it means a great deal to each family. Having the same done for my family when needed, I know how important this small gesture can be. In showing kindness and being thoughtful to others, we are living small in a big way.
Sometimes we just need to show gratitude for the small and simple things. Just like my grandson did that day, we need to delight in things like the scent of the rain, the taste of a favorite food and the sounds of our families when we are gathered. When we are faithful to God in little things, we gain experience and strength that will help us in the more serious trials of life.
Every time we question life, we listen to the teachings of Jesus. When we receive Holy Communion, we should be truly amazed. We are experiencing ordinary life in big and small ways. Life can be made up of the little things, not always great sacrifices or duties, but things that bring smiles. I know I couldn’t stop smiling that day on our walk. I still smile when I think about it!
So if you have lost the joy that comes from the small things, try to remember it the next time you hold a newborn, listen to the birds, watch the sun come up or gaze at the stars. I thank God for the reminder I got from a small boy on a simple little walk!