Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Little Things...

I have been thinking a lot lately about how the smallest things make the biggest difference. In my life, I have seen what a difference reading the scriptures as I eat breakfast, saying a prayer as soon as I wake up, or exercising every morning can make. In each case, the decision to do these things has been relatively small, but with consistent effort to do them, the change they have made have been pretty big.

One step at a time..
It seems like we sometimes lose sight of how little change really can be. Bad or good, we make the climb or decent one decision at a time. A smoker who constantly chooses to not smoke a cigarette will one day find himself clean and free of his addiction. Likewise, someone who decides to forgo the very small decision to pray everyday will soon find themselves estranged from their Heavenly Father, and in great spiritual need.

We grow in physical strength bit by bit, one lift at a time. Because of the constant strain put on the muscles, they grow relatively slowly. However, the accumulated strength can be a great force in times of need or pressure. In following this pattern, spiritual strength comes one good decision at a time. After numerous and consistently good choices, you gain a sort of obedience barrier, which will help you when temptation arises. Because of a righteous lifestyle and consistent obedience, the Holy Ghost can help warn us of and guide us through difficult challenges. The prophet Joseph Smith illustrates this point beautifully when he counseled the early saints from Liberty Jail. He said,

"You know, brethren, that a very large ship is abenefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves."

Joseph Smith
How very true those words have proven in my life. In the hardest, darkest times, when the "storm" was raging around me, I felt as though there was nothing to do but to continue onward and strive to do what little good I could. Sometimes, it was hard for me to see how the small things could make any real difference in my very real, very large problems. Time has given me perspective however, and looking back I can now see how important those small decisions were. Truly, they are what helped me make it through. I echo Joseph Smith, when he writes one verse later,

"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us acheerfully bdo all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the csalvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

Change happens one small step at a time. It may take a while for us to see the effects, but I know that with constant consistent (and may I add cheerful) effort, we can do it.  Just like my dad used to say, "take care of the small stuff, and the big things will take care of themselves." (see Dad, I was listening all those years! hah) God is watching out for us. He knows what you and I are struggling through, and as we cheerfully do everything we can, we can stand back and watch him take care of the rest.

1 comment:

  1. "By small and simple things." Great post! I know the little things have helped me so much! It is what helps me to be the best missionary I can be.