Little things matter. Today was all about little things: things to see, things to do.
Such a beautiful morning deserved to be appreciated- so I went for a nine-mile bike ride, as far as possible on smaller lanes and cycle paths. Cycling is so much more enjoyable without vans crowding in on personal space.
One footpath heads north towards Chichester, then swings round westward beside fields of wheat and freshly ploughed clay. After two miles, the path joined a farm lane. Then with a quick spurt of frantic pedalling, a quiet side lane headed north again. Classic English cottages and country houses, an ancient church (St Giles, excellent snowdrops in January!) then hedgerow and ditches.
That’s where I met my beetle, hard at work on the flowers. I think it may be a cardinal beetle- no airs and graces, no complaint about a lowly Baptist taking the photo!
As I watched (also a good chance for a rest!) “my” beetle busied itself, presumably hunting nectar, pollen, or smaller insects. I was totally ignored since the telephoto lens meant I kept my distance and posed no threat.
I cannot begin to count the number of insects I saw today – one dragonfly flew into my face, I noticed that! Nor count the number of tiny flowers and seeds; or the ears of wheat in that acre or so. Little things all, and all very important.
For thirty years or so I have been involved with “little” things that mattered. Weddings, the arrival and blessing of children, triumphs and struggles at work or in families. Not many of the people I have worked with will count as hugely significant in the world’s eyes: but as far as God is concerned, they matter so much! (I heard this week that a friend has recently died. She was quiet, kind, and hard-working; a wonderful wife & mother, granny, and all-round thoroughly decent. Her “little” life made an impact on many.)
Encouragingly, God takes great interest in “us ordinary folk” and finds delight in our faithful serving and loving. In a world that seems celebrity-crazy, I find comfort in knowing that value isn’t calculated according to our fame. Here’s a verse from the “minor prophet” Zechariah, who told an ancient generation that God loves small beginnings, little things that lead to great outcomes.
Zechariah 4:10 (New Living Translation)
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (The seven lamps represent the eyes of the LORD that search all around the world.)
Try thinking on this verse, and connect it to your own life and activity. What small things are we doing that (a) please God and (b) may make the world a better place, a bit more like the promised coming Kingdom of God?
Perhaps those little things count for more than we realised. Imagine that- being taught something by a beetle!