"I planted the seed... but God made it grow." I Cor. 3:6

"Anyone can count the number of seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed." - Robert H. Schuller

Little things make a difference. A kind word, a thoughtful gesture... these little things go a long way toward making people feel more at ease in an awkward situation.

But the neglect of little things is what I want to address here. Solomon on at least two occasions wrote of the damage done by little things. "The little foxes spoil the vines," he wrote in the Song of Solomon. And in Ecclesiastes 10:1 he notes,
"As dead flies give perfume a bad smell,
so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor."

On a morning walk I recalled to mind the famous lines,
"For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
for want of a shoe the horse was lost,
for want of a horse the messenger was lost,
for want of a messenger the battle was lost,
for want of a battle the war was lost....
all because of the lack of a nail."

Little things can have major consequences and nowhere is this more evident than in the raising of our children. Parenting involves far more than merely feeding, bathing, and washing clothes. Our responsibility includes shaping attitudes, fostering a love of learning, stimulating imagination and nourishing the soul. This sounds like a big task, but it does not have to be. It simply means paying attention to the little things... observing, and responding to what we see. By that I mean, pulling weeds.... dealing with little things.

Unfortunately, if there is no deliberate plan, no decisive action taken in our child rearing, our families will simply drift. Our children may not learn self-control, may not learn respect for authority, may not learn the vital social skills essential to success in life and business.

With ourselves, one of the significant little things that makes a difference is how we spend our free time. A wasted hour or wasted evening is no big deal. It is a little thing. But strung together night after night after night, and we're talking about a wasted month, a wasted year... a wasted life.

Daily devotions, a little prayer and Bible study, the habit of being generous toward others with our time... These also appear small when measured alone, but together they are the fertilizer for an abundant life.

The time is now. Fruitlessness begins with the neglect of little things.

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