I recall an ancient writer once saying “see how small a spark can light an entire forest ablaze? Or consider the rudder. Quite a small part of a mighty ship. And yet wields this great vessel where it will. And thus is the tongue. Though small it contains the power both to build and to destroy”.
This principle seems to be an underlying principle of all life. In fact, I would suggest that in life it is often the little decisions that mean more in the long run than the large ones. For one simple reason, there are so many of them.
Little decisions tend to follow patterns. Patterns of negativity. Insecurity. Emotional damage. Pride. Controlling habits. Rejection. Isolation. Or patters of progress. Security. Confidence. Stability. Generosity. Humility. Honor. Little decisions much more often reflect the true course that a person is on. If one is spiraling downward in one of the negative patterns than the little decisions they make will often reflect this deep rooted struggle.
For example, constantly looking for cheap thrills and quick fixes to forget about a more important issue is often an example of emotional damage. Similarly, a simple disciplined habit that is kept even at the cost of sleep or entertainment is often a sign of direction and confidence.
Why do large decisions so often give a false idea of who we really are? Perhaps because their consequences are often much more perceivable to an outsider. People can quickly see the results of a decision to move across the country.
A job must be forsaken. Friends must be left. New housing must be established. And so on. There seem to be far-reaching outward effects of this one decision that could change the course of your life!
However, consider the quiet decision to spend a few minutes every day studying another culture or way of life. No one may even know you are doing this. It may not affect any other part of your life or your day. And yet this small decision, made over and over again, could be the very thing that triggered your life-changing decision to move across the country.
The small decision of one man to show kindness on a foreign outcast widow named Ruth eventually lead to a romance that gave birth to a man after God’s own heart, king David, several generations later. It’s not just the tongue, or sparks, or rudders, that are small forces driving immense powers.
This concept is a principle of life and the way it works. Those small habits we create as young people in grade school could be the ruin of us in later life. Never underestimate EVERY small decision.
It’s the little things that make your life change, forever. Every little detail counts. Every small step plays an indispensible role in your story. Remember, there is NO such thing as failure. Only feedback.