The following is taken from an old book, “The Most Useful KNOWLEDGE for the Orthodox Russian-American Young People,” compiled by the Very Rev’d Peter G. Kohanik, 1932-1934.
If we wish to make life beautiful and successful we must give attention to what the world calls little things. Jesus taught that: “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” It seems a small matter to give a cup of cold water in the name of Christ, but whosoever is faithful in things so small, will be ready to meet the demands of duty when the trial is great. We cannot all be philanthropists, but he who would give thousands to the cause of Christ must be willing to give such as he has, be it ever so little.
On one occasion Jesus said, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” If you can give but one day of the week to the Lord’s service — give it. If you can only give one dime — give it. If you can only say one prayer — say it.
“A word spoken in due season, how good is it!” (Prov. 15:23). One word, if the right word, and spoken at the right time, may make a life brighter, a burden lighter — may change the entire destiny of a soul. The little words of kindness, little acts of self-denial, little moments of diligence, a careful watch against little sins, a grateful use of little blessings, a diligent cultivation of little talents — these might make a person great in the sight of God.
The close observation of little things is the secret of all true success in every pursuit in life.
What is smaller than a drop of water? Think of the many drops of water that go to make the oceans from which the islands rise.
We cannot all of us do big things. We cannot all of us be big people. Only one out of every thousand, perhaps, rise very far above the average; and yet that one, when you stop to think it out, is lifted to his place by the number of little fine things that have become welded together, as drops of water are joined together to make an ocean.
Take care of the little things that come into your daily life. Do not neglect to do the little, kind things that may, at the moment, seem so unimportant. Keep from the little unkind things that may seem almost equally unimportant. It is by paying attention to the little things, those that you do and those that you leave undone, that you become a truly big person, with a big soul.
In the Christian life there are many duties which sometimes appear insignificant, but whose faithful performance brings great reward; and their neglect — untold loss.
The human body is made up of many members, great and small. Each one has its work to do, and each is needed. The foot cannot say: “I can do without the eye,” merely because the eye is a small member. The Church of Christ is likened to the human body in that it is made up of many members, of every nation, tongue and people. The same cleansing stream makes us one, but some have seemed to do more than others. For instance, Solomon built a house for the Lord, the prophets and apostles gave us the Bible, the martyrs sealed their faith with their blood. But may we, the lesser members, not underestimate the value of the faithful performance of the little duties God requires of us.