In even the smallest matter
“Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.” — Marcus Aurelius
If you’ve ever been to Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara or certain other well-known Mexican cities, you probably have seen the beautiful artwork created with tiny seed beads or yarn in the tradition of the Huichol people. With painstaking exactitude they create brilliantly colored items with complex designs that delight the eye and intrigue the mind. In many shops, tourists can watch the artists at work and marvel at the patience and care with which they produce unique treasures.
While I love the yarn paintings, I am most fascinated by the intricate beadwork. Those of us who have reached “a certain age” might find it difficult to even see the tiny beads, let alone place them one by one with delicate precision until a large work is finished. But the artists handle their miniscule materials with practiced expertise. They remain focused intently on their designs, apparently not distracted by the tourists streaming past to observe works in progress. The finished art collections display convincing evidence that cumulative tiny actions can achieve impressive results.
For the most part, our days are made up of small, seemingly insignificant actions that we scarcely note. With practiced habit we keep house, tend children or execute countless tasks that make up our paid or unpaid vocations. It can be easy to feel unimportant when most of what we do garners little notice or admiration, but we are building a lifetime of accomplishment, the ultimate results of which we likely will never see. As the words of Zechariah 4:10 asks, “Who dares despise the day of small things?”