I’m not a huge fan of trite expressions, but I suppose there’s a reason they are overused.
Because usually they are pretty accurate.
I’m sure you’ve heard some sort of saying about how “a little bit goes a long way” or something similar that indicates that a little something can actually have a big impact. Even just a little salt can change the way your food tastes. I must say that I really like the concept of this one.
One day last week, we had a work event in the morning, and then my boss took our team to lunch and Top Golf for a team-bonding activity. (Thank you, corporate life.) I used to play golf way back in the day, but it’s definitely been a while. I knew I needed to get back into the swing of things (I totally planned that pun), but I’ll admit that I was a bit frustrated with my first few hits. I kept slicing it to the left every single time. When I sat down and complained about my shots to a coworker, she said something so simple but insightful: “I think it’s your swing.”
We decided I was bending my elbow too much, so on my next turn, I adjusted my swing, and the results were incredible. I started hitting the ball with more precision and beefing up my score on the board. It was such a little thing, but it made a big difference.
On Sunday, I drove to my hometown in the morning to run while my parents biked with me. I had asked them the night before if they would do this because I wanted a change of scenery and also sometimes get bored of running by myself most days. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s one of the best runs I’ve had all year. I battled a horrible case of plantar fasciitis for WAY too long, and I’ve finally been running pain-free for a while, but it’s been a journey trying to get back in shape. But Sunday morning felt easy. I ran faster than I expected, and it felt natural again. It felt effortless. It didn’t feel like work but felt like something I simply love to do.
And I think the difference was having my parents there. My dad rode in front of me, leading the way, while my mom rode behind me because the protective mother in her wanted to keep me safe (even though I run the streets of Dallas by myself all the time). We didn’t talk much, and I didn’t need them to say anything to encourage me along the way. Their presence was enough. It was such a little thing, but it made a big difference.
Back in January, I went through the hell that is the pain of a kidney stone. It was one of those experiences that I never want to relive, and I would never wish it upon anyone. Ever. I have been through a lot of painful things in my life—pancreatitis, a volleyball pole falling on my head and causing me to get my head stapled, ruptured ovarian cysts, running a half marathon on a broken hip, and this list could keep going, so I will stop here—but kidney stones was by far the worst. Have you ever seen a kidney stone, though? Those devils are not that big. Yet they cause this unbearable pain that makes a person want to die. (I’m not dramatic.) It was such a little thing, but it made a big difference.
I was having a really rough week not too long ago, and I was feeling overwhelmed with too many things and stressing more than I probably should have. I was tired. I was frustrated. I was discouraged. I’m on one of the prayer teams at my church, and it was a Sunday morning that I was praying with a couple of other people prior to service. After our prayer time concluded and I was about to make my way to service, one of the guys stopped me and said, “While you were praying, I just kept thinking something. You’re really small. But you are going to do BIG things for God. I really believe that.” I didn’t know this guy, but I definitely needed his words in that moment. They offered me encouragement and hope. It didn’t take him much effort to say it, and he probably didn’t realize how much it impacted me. It was such a little thing, but it made a big difference.
Every single day, we are given small things that can have big impacts. Some of them we recognize, and some we don’t. It could be something as simple as a smile to a stranger or a compliment to a coworker. But there are also small things that aren’t so good and can have bad big impacts, like kidney stones. Something you say or a mean look can hurt another and cause a good day to go downhill. It’s important to be genuine and intentional with our words and actions, and it’s even more important to make sure their filled with love.
Love is such an interesting thing—it’s bigger than anything we will ever know but can put itself into the smallest of things. Including you. You may not see your significance when you look at how big this world is, but the love within you can do things you don’t even know. We are so small, but we have the capacity to make big differences.
And love can never be trite or overused.