I recently ran a half marathon. At one spot on the course I noticed a good-sized pot hole. As a courtesy, I pointed to it and shouted “Watch out.” Several people following behind thanked me.
Immediately a scripture verse came to mind. It says that we were created to do good deeds that God ordained before the creation of the Earth. Religious leaders often teach that this refers to activities like volunteering in the church, making converts to a particular belief, giving money to a certain organization or traveling to another country to serve. Could it be that there is much more to this message?
Perhaps somewhere back in eternity, God looked down upon a half marathon at this moment in time, and noticed a runner in danger of twisting an ankle in a pot hole. Then He put me there, just a few steps ahead to issue a warning. And if that could be true, how many tens of thousands of other simple things do each of us do in our lifetimes that are along the same lines?
Good deeds in ordinary situations. Not grandiose, but more meaningful than ever, because they were engineered by the Creator Himself. Everyday life just got a lot more interesting.
Of all things, this is always foremost in my thoughts, seeing the small items that happen which move the world in a different direction. Quite often I’ve been very thankful for the very small actions and decisions which avert pain, trouble, or disaster in the lives of others, especially when I see it in my life.
Is not a small act of kindness to an unknown person essentially the purest form of Love? It is devoid of expectation or hint of guile and if done spontaneously one may even sense the breath of the Spirit. Dreamers imagine great & glorious feats but I wonder if the Mountain of Self is not best moved one pebble at a time.
Much has been written about the coarsening of our society. Daily examples of indifference, harshness and hostility are in ample supply. But so too are acts of kindness and compassion. I feel God’s presence in that and know that these small deeds matter. When all is said and done, perhaps they matter most of all.