Life’s Lessons


What little things can mean when all is said and done

We have been volunteers and casual friends at the same institution for about five years. We were the kind of friends you relate to, visit with on a very superficial level, miss if they are absent, but names seem unimportant. So when another volunteer hailed me saying Barbara wanted to speak with me, I said, “Who is Barbara?”

Barbara came over. We exchanged greetings and she asked my plans for Christmas Day. I had nothing definite and she invited me to have dinner with her and a couple of other friends at her home. How nice! We made tentative plans.

The next week, she found me and said she was so sorry but family plans had developed and she would be in Cincinnati for Christmas. She apologized profusely and I assured her it was perfectly alright.

The next week I took her a Christmas card expressing my thanks for the invitation and stating once again how much that meant. It was then I discovered Barbara was not Barbara at all but was Deloris. (Well, I told you we were passing acquaintances!) She had also brought me a poinsettia that day. From now on, I will know her name and we will be friends.

It was just a little thing but had such deep meaning to both of us.

Years ago, when I was doing some work for cousins in Indianapolis, an 11-year-old grandson and his mother lived in the other half of the duplex. He wanted to learn to play the cornet but his divorced mother couldn’t stretch her finances to purchase an instrument.

I had a perfectly good cornet from high school days just sitting at home, so the next week when I went back, I took that instrument to Steven. He used it until his Mom was able to purchase the one he wanted, and it found its way back to me. For my part, it was a long-ago forgotten incident.

Forgotten? Not for Steve! When we were together recently, I learned he still plays his own cornet some and credits me with the privilege he had of learning to play. His comment when we parted? “If you get there (“there” being heaven} before I do, keep the mouthpiece warm.” On cold days, trumpet/cornet players often carry the mouthpiece in their pocket to keep it warm.

Again, a little thing.

One more: I asked an adult cousin how it happened she came to the same county in Kentucky where I taught those many years ago. She told me she had finished college with a teaching degree but hadn’t found a job and contacted me hoping I could help her find something. According to her, I sent her a list of counties in the area along with superintendent’s names, so it was through me that she spent that time in Kentucky.

I remember her teaching there but did not remember my part at all. Yet, these many years later, she is still so grateful.

You see, little things count so much. Look back at your own life and check out the little things that proved life changing. Perhaps one day someone asked if you knew Jesus and through that contact you came to a saving knowledge of Him. To the person who asked, it was just a little thing, but to you it was life changing.

By the same token, our testimony can be ruined by little things we ought NOT to have said or done. Be thankful for the little things that affect positive change but be alert for the little things that can ruin your testimony.

What little things can mean when all is said and done