Friday, March 2, 2012

All the Small things

So I wanted to start off with the story that happened to me a few weeks ago that led me to write this post. It goes something like this...

I was out going to some food for lunch about two weeks ago and decided to get some fast food. At drive thru I order and was pulling up to pay. The man at the window says $7 and change. I gave him a ten and received back the same ten plus $2 extra (by accident). Thinking to myself, in that 4 seconds, ok cool...but before I pulled up to the next window I paused and asked the man if I had given him a ten and the man said yes. I then gave him what was rightfully his and he thanked me very much and I went on with my day and he, his day. He may have not/will not think about the incident again for the rest of his life. However, it was quite the opposite for me and really stuck with me.

In the grand scheme of things it seems to be very small compared to everything else that is good going on in the world. Almost as small the man in the picture is compared to that wave. But to me, a lesson I learned was that, its all the small things (not the blink 182 song) that matter!!

The verse that pops into my head and is  from the gospel according to St. Luke, when Christ says, "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much."

The small things are the values that you have built you whole foundation on all these years. They are the things that make you who you are and drive you to make certain decision. 

Just so you don't think I am tooting my own horn or anything, this was probably one victory out of A LOT of loses. I kind of felt like this guy a little bit: 


But anyway, one thing that I started realizing that these little things are the foundation of everything that we go by in our lives! For a while, I would just worry about the big things and put the little things on the side. If I got to it, it's a bonus. However, there is a reason why St. James in his epistle talks about how the tongue, although a very small part of the body, can defile the whole body! He compares the tongue to treats that we would give a horse to make him follow us and also to the rudder of a ship. How it can move a huge ship any way by simply moving it left or right. Also the eye, which Jesus talks about, can make the whole body dark. And there has to be a reason why St. Paul makes it a point to talk about little things such as too much food or drink or sleep. 

Somethings that I have to ask are, do I take the little things lightly? Is giving into the small temptations a big deal? Most importantly, what are these small things?

Come to think about it, the Devil uses the small things all the time. We can see the big things that are "bad" but it's the small things that sometimes lead us to fall into temptation. Sometimes we can have a sense of "spiritual pride"  and say that "I can't fall into that!" Maybe thinking that being honest in THIS situation isn't necessary. Or a big one self pity!

To take an example from the book "Way of the Ascetics" by Tito Colliander, he talks about self pity as being the root of most sins that we fall into. Something that I never thought and something that we can all say we do is telling ourselves that this ONE can slide because... We all have different "ones" but it can vary from having a smoke or drink and saying "it's because I had a stressful day at work/school" or lashing out on someone not deserving of it because I had a bad day or being dishonest that time at the drive thru because "they are ripping me off anyway." 

One thing we can all look into is the little things in our lives that the Devil uses to creep into our lives and steer our whole being into darkness. 

"...we must most carefully look after the field of our hear, lest the tares of evil, slothfulness luxuriousness, self-indulgence, envy, hatred, and others, should grow within it; we must daily weed the field of our heart...we must by every means implant in the field of our heart the seeds of the virtues, faith, hope in God, and love for God and our neighbor. 'But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.' Matthew 13:25" St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ
Look for the small things and celebrate in your victories knowing that, "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much."