Yesterday I was giving a test to my high school Sophomore students and I told them to take a piece of paper out of their spiral notebooks. I noticed that some took the time to tear off the part that attached the sheet to the spiral in the center of the notebook at the perforations provided for that purpose. Others simply ripped the sheet out and began writing.
I didn’t tell them they had to make the sheet look neat – something I usually do when I’m assigning homework. In fact, I told them that for the purpose of the test it didn’t matter. And I’ve never taken off points on a test for neatness. Yet some still took the time to make the small extra effort to hand in a neat paper.
This small incident has me thinking today. How much of our character is built out of these small little extras? What difference does such atttention to detail make as our collective little “extras” begin to add up?
Well, this much I can say for sure. Today I decided to review my grade book just one more time before handing in my grades for the quarter – even though I had already done so several times – just in case I missed anything. And sure enough, I found one student just on the border between passing and failing who I was able to help get on the right side of that border. Did one thing have to do with the other? Given the timing, seems like a real possibility to me.
Little things really do mean a lot. Of course, when viewed through the eyes of Christ, there really are no little things. Even offering a cup of water to someone who is thirsty, after all, sends ripples through the time-space fabric back into and out again from the core of absolute Love that grounds all Being.
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)
(Starting this Thursday night, April 7th, I’m beginning a four week series of presentations on 1 and 2 Chronicles at St. Matthew’s parish in Dix Hills, NY. Each presentation begins at 7:30PM and will conclude at approximately 9:30PM.)