Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sandcastles...I mean sandholes…

Little failures hurt big successes...
If you are not willing to work hard on the little things in life, then the big successes will never come. Changing the paper towel roll when it is empty, putting the toilet paper roll on correctly (always flows over the top - never under the roll), picking up clothing, keeping your phone screen clean, learning new things every day, etc. (you add your own to this list)
The little things sound like they should be easy, but this is where most people fail miserably. They figure that the little things don’t really matter all that much and they just let them sit or don’t worry about them. 
“The little things aren’t going to get me to my big dream!” 
“The little things are just a pain!”
“The little things just eat up my time!”
Oh, those little things - what frustration they bring to our lives! The sum of them adds a lot of work to my day. 
They are not a pain, not eating up your time and they may be the key to your big dream.
If we keep working hard at the little things in life, we get better at them, then we get better at the bigger things they add up to, and then, all of a sudden, our dream is right there in front of us. These dreams don’t have to be huge dreams, like becoming the number one tuba player in the country, or being able to build the Empire State building out of spaghetti noodles (cooked, not raw - that would be easy), or, even the biggest of dreams - being able to have a guest spot in the Muppets movie, with Beaker. 
The dreams can be little dreams, like being successful in your job, being a good Mom, helping a teen get out of the crowd they shouldn't be in, becoming an encouragement to three more people everyday, stopping that bad habit you have, building the confidence to speak in front of a group - the list goes on.
The thing is, you have to start with the little successes to get to the next steps in life. Someone may see you finish the small stuff correctly and that may open up a door for you. You may be so successful at the tiny item that the next item becomes easy to you. The little thing may teach you some lessons that help you in the next bigger thing. The small things help you build upon the other small things and then they add up to much bigger things. Did I use the word “things” enough in that paragraph.
When I started my first real job, I wanted to be the best grocery carryout boy in the whole store, so I ran with my carts, as I returned to the store, from helping a customer unload. When my boss saw me, he offered me a promotion to the “pop” aisle (coke or soda for some). While I handled actual glass bottles of soft drink, I developed the talent of catching falling bottles with my feet, before they broke - a little thing. I was moved to the cereal aisle (huge jump - missed the bread aisle, the meat counter and produce wrapper). I kept taking care of the little things, like fixing shelves, filling stock completely and cleaning my isle. Next tour of duty was Front Specials - I had gotten to the holy grail of the whole grocery store for part-time employees - the pinnacle - top of the ladder - you understand. That whole story sure made me feel old, but the little things got me to the big dream in that store, as a teen.
Those little things built up, just like the picture I have today that started as a small sand hole and grew to the final product that could fit a VW bug in it. The constant little digging got to the end result, and along the way you had fun with the hard work. Proud of my girls for their diligence...small sob, little teardrop rolling...
Lessons Learned: I have to take life one little step at a time. I have to trust in God's timing and plan, but do what I'm supposed to do each day.
Thoughts: What’s the hard little thing that you need to get good at, right now?


  1. Throwing things out! If I think I **might** need something at all in the future I hold on to it. and then it just clutters everything up.   I agree with you Craig take care of the little stuff.  It's part of being prepared for when opportunity comes your way.  

  2. It's amazing how things pile up. Good comment. Thanks for reading.

  3. In reading this post two scriptures come to mind. The first talks about the little foxes spoiling the vine and the second talks about God not trusting us with great things until He can trust us with the small things. It is amaizing how easily we overlook the small things in life when they tend to be the most important in the long run.

  4. Jeremy - great comment and application from scripture. Thanks for reading - keep your blog rolling too!

  5. Thanks!  That was a huge encouragement to me this morning

  6. Glad the Lord uses "little things" along the way. Your comments always encourage me, so thanks in return.

  7. I also started my first real job at a grocery store. I didn't run with carts, but we would compete to see who could bring the most in at a time. Or, I was determined to be the fastest bagger in the city. Who knows if I was....but I had few instances where customers forced me to slow down in fear I'd break something. What did I learn from all this? Be the best at something. It may be small to you, but your Father knows and he'll elevate you if the world refuses to.

  8. GReat comment - thanks so much for reading...keep coming back...

  9. great post!! Reminds me of Ecclesiastes 9:10: whatever your hand finds do do, do it with all your might.

  10. Great comment. Keep doing what we have in front of us. Thanks for coming by and come again.

  11. Great comments!

    Because of Christ, God is not keeping a ledger on our failures and successes.

    That's good news!

    So we are free to get back out there and live...in our successes...and in our failures.


  12. I believe the sentiment you're expressing was best expressed by one of my distant racial ancestors: Lao-Tzu of China, in the sixth century BC: "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". It's true of course, although it's also true in reverse: the gigantic catastrophe can begin with small, seemingly harmless errors and omissions.

    PS. Sorry to be a stickler for grammar, but the correct word is "aisle", not "isle". The "cereal aisle" is an area of the grocery store where you store cereal, whereas the "cereal isle" would be an island full of cereal.

  13. Love it. I need the typo grammar police! I know the difference, but didn't double check well enough. Thanks for reading.

  14. Great thought. Thanks for stopping by.

  15. FaithandstagefrightJanuary 31, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    SO GOOD. I've been focusing on the same idea lately, and it seems God's really been leading me to look at what's right in front of me. The small things, today. Thanks for the great post!

  16. Funny how God helps us though the little things. Thanks for reading.


Comments always welcome...