One of the greatest tragedies to befall a man is the belief that what he does is irrelevant. The more meaningless life becomes in his head, the quicker his life will mirror the belief. For me, one of the greatest paradoxes of life is the knowledge of how small we are in the universe, but how significant even the smallest of our actions can be. This video can give you a glimpse of the magnitude of the universe.
We may just be a tiny dot in the grand scheme of things, but we have a part in the play. In fact, even the action we believe to be the most insignificant can be life changing or world altering. Two of my previous blogs come to mind:
- Your Small is Someone’s Large – This was my reaction to Vitamin Angels’ guest post. They wrote how: It costs Vitamin Angels just 25 cents per child per year to provide vitamin A and antiparasitic medicine to children in need. That means that for $1, you can provide a child under 5 with enough vitamin A for the four most vulnerable years of their life. Tiny contribution. Life changing consequences.
- Life as a Textbook – One simple act of responsibility by my wife changed the way I look at litter forever.
I bring all this up because this past week I heard another story that emphasizes my point. I was at a leadership conference where they highlighted different social causes. One was Compassion International. They interviewed a 28-year-old (?) man who had been sponsored through Compassion since he was 8. He had lost his dad and his mom was very sick. He had even had to move to his Aunt’s house where he was the eighth child. His life was not going well. At that time, a 20-year-old college student (Mark) from Canada sponsored him for no more than $35 a month. Because of that generosity, the man was now training to be a pastor and was preparing to go back to Kenya to help others. The man had even saved the first letter he had received from the Canadian college student.
It was a touching story, but to top it off they asked him if had ever met his sponsor. “No, I have not”, he replied. And that’s when they brought his sponsor out. You’ve never seen a grown man cry as much and as hard as this man from Kenya. He hugged Mark for about five or ten minutes and they tried to continue the interview. However, he could barely stand and he just sat on the floor bawling. The look in his eyes contained a thousand words. They ranged from inexpressible joy to “I can’t believe I’m meeting you!” to “Thank you!” It was a beautiful moment.
Many of us may never receive that moment. Mark could have never met the man he once sponsored. But would that have changed the significance of what he had done? No. The Kenyan man’s life was forever changed.
Remember the small things. They are never really small. They are just small in the moment. Never believe the lie that says your life is irrelevant. You matter. I matter. People halfway around the world matter. Our lives may just be small notes in the grand symphony of life, but imagine the ugly silence if those notes were removed.