There are no “little things”

by Clark Roush, Ph.D.

I say this to my choir on a repeated basis as we cover all the necessary components of preparing a top-quality performance. In fact, just the other day, I was blessed with the opportunity to share my choir and my thoughts at a state convention. The session was about all the “little things” pertaining to text portrayal in choral music. All day I was blessed with compliments, both on my choir, and my presentation. Hang with me, this is not an “isn’t Clark wonderful” blog! It merely sets the stage for my thoughts.

As I was reflecting on the day, the comments, the people, the atmosphere, etc…. it struck me how applicable this was to an attitude of gratitude and our should-be sense of thansgiving. Please don’t limit my thoughts to merely being a “thanksgiving blog” – that is certainly the timing, but in my heart, I’m referencing a life filter – not a season!

What are some of the “little things” that have recently occurred to me? Allow me to share, but please also allow me to frame these.

1. My wife was at my presentation. She corresponded electronically from her job to tell me she thought my presentation was stunning! Wow! What husband wouldn’t walk on the clouds at hearing the love of their life utter that proclamation?!

2. My oldest son called to tell me he had been asked to judge the Lincoln Public School culinary competition. He just recently was invited to go “work a shift” (I can’t remember the chef word for this) at an upscale restaurant in Omaha to augment his skills.

3. My youngest son has been published twice this month. Hearing him talk about that is wonderful, and hearing how well his job is going, and how happy he is, is pretty cool.

4. One of my daughter-in-laws is going through all the adjustments of her first year as a full-time teacher, and the other DIL just started “working the floor” as part of her training/schooling.

I know this is being read by people that have multiple reasons to be proud of and happy with their families, so what is the point of sharing this with you? Here’s the point: my wife could have merely THOUGHT that and not communicated it; my sons could have “done their thing” without telling dad; my DIL’s could continue to do what they’re doing without “filling me in.” These are what could be viewed as “little things,” but there are no such things! They are gifts from God that give me the chance to be reminded how good He is, and how connected my family still is to Him. They are precious to me because they didn’t have to happen – but they did!

What are the things around us that don’t have to occur, but do? What is our response when life is rich and full? What is our demeanor when God graces us so abundantly?

It is easy to see what we focus on! We are trying to plan our thanksgiving in dad’s nursing home this year. This is new to all of us, but I still have my dad around! How do we look at things? Are we content with the blessings of the Father, or do we grouse at everything that isn’t the way we would wish it?

I had the blessing of having a week where I received so many reminders of just how connected we can be, and just how HUGE some of those “little things” really are. I wanted to use my experience as a way of encouraging and inspiring others to: DO the little things, SAY the little things, and BE the little things. Because really there are no “little things.”