A few weeks ago, my family and I officially welcomed the Christmas season by setting up our Christmas tree. Yes, it's a "fake" tree, and it's not super big, but it's our tree and we have grown to love it (and the constantly-falling-off-fake-pine-needles) over the years.
There is a definite order in setting up our Christmas decorations. First, of course, is the tree. Dad and my little sister Alison brought it up, and got the various pieces out of the box. Soon they were all assembled, and we all helped by spreading out the bunched up branches. It looked almost perfect in front of our window, and as the sun set I knew that all we needed was the Christmas lights. Then everything would be perfect!
One of the lovely things about having a "fake", pre-made Christmas tree is that we don't have to worry about stringing the lights. Our little beauty already came pre-lit! All we have to do is plug it all together and it will work...right?
In years past, our tree lights have lit up just fine. No problemo at all. But while I couldn't remember any problems before, due to that circulating joke about how Christmas lights don't always work, I wasn't holding my breath for an immediate perfect performance.
My hunch was right! Dad plugged everything together, and then in grand suspense plugged the final cord into the wall. The tree lit up--partly, anyways! Honestly, it was the weirdest thing. The bottom third of lights was working, and the top third of lights was working, but middle third stubbornly remained off! Dad got right down to work, with his family encouraging him, "We know you can do it!" So Dad fiddled and fussed and then fiddled some more, but not much luck. Some of the lights came on, but there was still a noticeable chunk that wasn't on. What to do?
Dad tried for almost the entire evening to get all the lights working. Unfortunately, he never succeeded. We had to finally resort to other methods, that being stringing a separate strand of working lights onto the tree where the other lights weren't working. It all looks nice now, but if you look closely you can still see that some lights are off!
You know, I've been thinking about how some of our Christmas tree lights didn't work. You've heard the saying, "A chain is only as strong as its' weakest link", and I certainly think that was true in this case! More precisely, "A light strand is only as strong as its' weakest cord or light"! One of the major things that I feel this experience has taught me is how important the little things are. I may have thought that a light or cord is a little thing, but I certainly changed my mind after seeing how it affects everything!
Sometimes I feel like I may not be important. Like I'm little, and I can't make a difference. But I'm starting to rethink that. Sure, we all have different roles to play (check out 1 Corinthians 12 for details!), but we all have a power to change things for the good, or change them for the bad.
Maybe you don't know where to start. OK, start with the small things! What small--but meaningful and important--thing can you do today to better your relationship with God? A relationship with a family member or friend? What about doing "small" things to help better your neighbourhood and community? Picking up trash starts with one piece at a time!
But I think you get the point. Small things are important, and can have a vast influence over things. In what ways can you do a seemingly small thing today and make something better, or someone happier?
Remember, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 (NKJV)
This prayer blog is a guest post by Austin Menzmer (a teenager with a real love for Jesus Christ), he is the Nephew of Jeff and Annemarie Freeman.