Monday, July 22, 2013
For a long time I had a housekeeping mystery. The table at which we spend most of our meals has a glass top. When I saw the table, I just loved the look of it. Little did I know the labor involved in keeping a glass table looking shiny. After every meal it must be wiped down and then shined with glass spray. When you have a small child living with you, the underside also has lots of little fingerprints on the edges. I was used to wiping those little prints out from the first 2-3 inches underneath, from the edge in. But one day I noticed something new. There were little round smudges near the center of the table. They were perfectly round and appeared in a variety of sizes from tiny to not-so-tiny. Because of the table framework, they were very difficult to shine off. It required an acrobatic maneuver on my part to get to them. And I’m NOT so athletic. I wondered where on earth they came from. Was it nose prints from our puppy? Was it some sort of wicked condensation from hot or cold dishes placed on the table? As I continued to wipe them off, I was on the lookout for the source of these pesky little spots. One morning at breakfast my mystery was solved. My grandson Jordan, then 4 years old, sat eating a waffle at the table. Still clad in his jammies and bare feet, he stretched out his legs and put his little toes up on the center of the glass! Aha! The culprit was those cute little toes. He did this several times before finishing his breakfast. Those spots which were SO annoying were suddenly the most precious thing in the house.
Isn’t it always that way? Sometimes when our focus becomes clear, the entire perspective on something changes drastically. I still remember a story shared by a missionary friend of ours who was an executive of Outreach International, a church affiliate that provides aid to underdeveloped nations. He shared a story about his recent visit to a small African nation where Outreach had assisted a tribe of people install a cistern and pipes to provide clean drinking water. He sat next to the tribal chief who gazed out upon the land in front of them. The scenery included two large bulldozers. They had been brought in as a gift to the people by a large aid organization, obviously a very expensive gift. The chief explained how futile the machinery had been. No one knew how to operate them. They didn’t have access to fuel. And so they sat, day after day, in the hot sun, a reminder of what could be if they could only be utilized. He commented on the much smaller gift from Outreach of clean potable water. He said, “Big things can be very small. Small things can be very big.”
I am working on applying this principle to my weight loss. Today I lost one pound. I would have loved to have seen three pounds . . . or be able to shed 80 pounds in 90 days like someone on Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell. But the truth is this: one pound is great . . . especially when it is going in the right direction. So I'm using the tribal chiefs statement as my mantra today. Small things can be very big . . . small things can be very big . . . small things . . .