Don’t overlook little moments in life

I’m not a fan of gigantic airports. Huge masses of people move swiftly along, intent on getting somewhere in a big hurry. I sometimes wish I had turn signals attached to me, so it’d be easier to exit the line of traffic without a collision.

On my latest excursion, travelers occupied every escalator step, while mechanical voices warned, “Hold the handrail.” Boarding the plane train, I heard another voice blaring, “Hold on! This train is moving!”

I was heading to the baggage claim area, feeling like an ant following my hive mates on the way to a sugar cube feast, when a 20-something fellow tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up fearfully, wondering what he could possibly want. “Your shoelace is untied,” he said, then vanished into the crowd.

It would’ve been easy for the fellow to ignore my shoelace, but a kind impulse evidently spurred him to warn me. Later, when my friend drove me home from the airport, he offered me a bottle of chilled water, which his wife had sent along. Another small action, but greatly appreciated!

Sometimes we get wrapped up in the big things — politics, the economy, jobs, household projects — and little things go unnoticed. In an abandoned flower pot in my yard, a single dandelion bloomed, stretching its yellow head skyward. Such an unassuming flower, not as fancy as a rose, but still something to admire.

Christianity is based on a puzzling premise, that attaining heaven means surrendering the big things like power, wealth and pride, and embracing the tiny and humble. Christ talked about small, ordinary objects in his stories, such as fig trees, lilies, sparrows and seeds.

He never said becoming rich and powerful was the key to heaven. Instead, he said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” A child has a trusting and humble heart, and doesn’t require lavish surroundings to be joyful.

The widow in the New Testament had only one coin to give in the temple, which was nothing — but became everything because of her generosity. The crowds were famished, but there were only a few loaves and fishes, until Christ multiplied them to feed everyone.

In her poetry, Emily Dickinson captured a childlike sense of wonder, as she observed nature. She wrote, “To make a prairie it takes clover and one bee. One clover, and a bee. And reverie. The reverie alone will do, if bees are few.” She knew that one tiny bee makes a difference in the world.

Sometimes I look outside and survey the big projects — weeds needing banishing, hedges needing pruning — and feel discouraged but then I spot a robin splashing in the bird bath and a chipmunk scooting through the grass — and I’m delighted. God’s fingerprints are everywhere, even in the humblest creations.

Big responsibilities can wear us down, while small moments bring joy. A star glistening like a rhinestone, an inchworm patiently creeping along, a child taking our hand. My friend, who has raised four children, has a sign in her home: “Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”

Lorraine’s email address is