little by little

In a day when it is all about the spectacular, or instant success and gratification, the thought of perseverance over the long haul in small incremental ways is often not well received, or is off the radar. But I have found in life that little by little of doing what is good, honorable and true, will in time win the day.

This is not to deny big breakthroughs, the spectacular, even miracles. Not at all. But even those come as a rule out of a life or practice that for the most part is simply steady, and plodding along deliberately on a certain path.

We want success or change now, not tomorrow, or not sometime down the road. But we need to see success and change in terms of small steps we are taking now. Life is a journey, and we go on it one step at a time. Where we are today is not where we were yesterday or where we’ll be tomorrow.

So we need to think in terms of the big picture–of our own lives, and also of life including all people in God’s working. We have our part to play and sometimes it may seem like a larger part. But for the most part it is small yet important for the whole of what is going, to complete the big picture.

God does not despise the day of small things, as the prophet said. And Jesus’ ministry was only around three years, in a rather obscure corner of the world. And known at the time only to a relatively few. Significant time spent especially toward the end only with his closest followers. But the explosion was about to happen. Jesus died, was resurrected to life, appeared to the disciples, and then ascended, after which the Holy Spirit was poured out in power on the day of Pentecost. And the world has never been the same since.

Little by little God is at work in our hearts and lives, and in our community of faith. And out from that into the world in ways that may seem small at the time, but can have a large impact over time. God keeps the books, our task is to be faithful. Individually and together in Jesus for the world.