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It's the Little Things

I did two things within the first 30 minutes of arriving home from Ecuador and putting my suitcase down. I opened up a brand new toothbrush and brushed my teeth vigorously for several minutes, then I filled a large glass to the brim with ice followed by my favorite no-cal, no-caffeine tea. Bliss. Pure bliss.

I had missed those two things so much during the previous 10 days. Oh, I had a toothbrush, but after so many days of brushing with bottled water and not rinsing thoroughly because of the scarcity of that water . . . well, use your imagination. It was gross.

I am a huge fan of ice in my beverages, and I only drink hot beverages when I'm enjoying a formal Afternoon Tea or when the weather is extremely cold. And I pretty much never like lukewarm drinks. In Ecuador, a person needs to drink lots of water to combat the effects of the high altitude when you're traveling in the Andes Mountains. And when you're in the jungle, what starts out as a cool bottle of water quickly warms up in the sweltering temperatures. You NEVER ask for ice, because you have no assurances that the ice was made with filtered water.

I readily admit that these are trivial First World Problems, but I missed a clean toothbrush and ice a LOT while I was gone. Those little things mattered.

This made me think about a Cousins Camp theme we had in 2019. The camp dates coincided with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and the famous words, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." That year's theme was "Small Things Can Make a Big Difference," and we expanded on that to include stories of young people in the Bible who did important things (the boy with the 5 loaves and 2 fish, David and his slingshot, Samuel with Eli in the temple, etc.)

The concept of something small making a huge difference is certainly Biblical. For example:

Galatians 5:9 -- "A little yeast spreads through the whole batch of dough."

James 3:5 -- "So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!"

Matthew 13:31-32 -- "He (Jesus) put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

During that Cousins Camp, we went to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and learned more about those footsteps on the moon, we consciously planned small acts of kindness, we painted rocks with positive sayings and put them at a nearby park to hopefully brighten the day of the person who found them, and we acted out those Bible stories every night before bedtime.

Small things DO grow into large things. What small things can you or I do today to make a huge difference in another person's life? What are some uplifting words we can say that a friend needs to hear? Let's think about that.

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