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Small great things


My son’s first-grade class is participating in a reading challenge to develop their reading skills. Their goal is to read 50 short, teacher-appointed books throughout the school year. Last month for Black History Month, two of the books my son brought home were titled “Riding with Rosa Parks” and “Dr. King’s Memorial.” Mixed in with learning to read more competently is learning about old laws our country held that have since been abolished or changed. Laws such as black people couldn’t sit in the front seats of buses and separate water fountains and schools for black and white people.

He was enamored with Martin Luther King Jr. and even asked me, “I wonder if I’ll ever have a memorial.” (The book “Dr. King’s Memorial” was all about his memorial in Washington D.C. and what MLK Jr. did to receive this commemoration.) I reminded him of Dr. King’s quote, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” We discussed what small things he could do in a great way. (He wasn’t the least bit excited with my suggestions to be kind to his little brother and to listen better to his dad and me, but we’re working on it.)

My discussion with Knox made me wonder about small things I could do in a great way. Do I love and serve my husband well? Am I patient with my children? Do I spend time outside (weather permitting!) to meet and get to know my neighbors? We don’t have to be “celebrity Christians” like Billy Graham or Elizabeth Elliot to do great things for the Lord. (Although I’m a huge fan of both of them!) God cares about the little things we do each day. Even if it seems small to us, it could mean the world to another person.

When asked what the most important command of all was, Jesus responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.” (Mark 12: 30-31)

Jesus didn’t say to become famous so that when you share the gospel, you can share it with your millions of followers. He didn’t say to sell all your belongings, move to a 3rd world country and spend your life helping impoverished people. Neither of those is bad or wrong, but when teaching on the MOST IMPORTANT things, he said two things that could be seen as very small and simple.

Love God, and love others. Do small things in a great way. It might not be flashy. It might not even be fun. But small, great things can indeed change the world.

Jennifer Grandlienard

Jennifer Grandlienard lives in Xenia with her husband, two sons and puppy. She loves to read, write, and help others discover their unique talents. You can follow her at @heyjenngrand on Instagram or on her website jenngrand.com.