As a young girl, I was fascinated with how things worked. And, if given the opportunity and access to a screw driver, nothing was safe: door knobs, radios, toys, batter-operated fabric shavers. (Yes, I’ve taken apart battery-operated fabric shavers.)
Eagerly, I’d sit down with said object of interest, tools in hand, and painstakingly undo each screw and bolt until the entire contraption was in pieces on the kitchen table. In awe, I’d inspect and observe each piece to see how it was shaped and where it fit within the system of thingamajigs inside the gadget.
Afterwards, I’d attempt to put everything back together again as it had come from the factory. Notice I said attempt. Inevitably, after rebuilding the object, there would be one tiny screw or spring just sitting there and I couldn’t for the life of me recall where it was supposed to go. At that point my enthusiasm for pulling things apart had waned, so going through the process all over again was simply out of the question. Almost without fail, my toy or gadget never quite worked the same again. Who knew such a small whatchamacallit could be so significant?
At the time, I didn’t see how symbolic such an experience is of the human condition.
Last weekend, I was reminded that often when we are dealing with our lives, particularly with sin, we tend to glance over the little things, especially those of us that have struggled with addictions, compulsions or dysfunctional behaviors. Comparing issues such as substance abuse, rage, sexual inappropriateness to issues like working too much, overeating, mismanaging finances, or even the occasional angry or sarcastic outburst, seem like miniscule concerns. But the contrary is true! The small things do matter. For every big thing once began small.
Now this isn’t a legalistic rant about keeping a list of do’s and don’ts, or counting our rights from wrongs; this is rather a call to action to stop kidding ourselves that we are okay because we’ve kept it together in other areas.
Psalm 51:6 says, “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being…”
God is looking for us to reflect deeply and allow the Holy Spirit to continually inspect all areas of our hearts, no matter the progress we’ve made thus far.
The point at which we may be content to stop our growth may very well be the point at which God is just getting started with transforming us into what He wants us to become. “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him…”
The goal is not to become a better version of ourselves, but to be transformed into the likeness of Christ himself. To stop short of this goal is to fall beneath the privilege and blessing that God has set forth for us in His promises.
Yes, the small things do matter. Please don’t overlook the small things. As is said in Song of Solomon 2:15, “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.”
Diera Shaw-Mendez is thrilled to be part of the team Barbara’s Place, and also serves as worship leader and youth leader at New Beginnings Worship Center, Pennsauken, NJ. She is wife to Chaplain Juan Mendez and mama to Olivia Joy. She enjoys graphic design, event planning, and cooking. Diera is a God-fearing, Starbucks loving, tech junkie (…in that order!) who simply wants to remind women of God’s unchanging, healing love.