Saturday, July 22, 2017

Parable of the "Smarties"

On a recent Road Scholar trip to Acadia National Park, my friend provided treats to all the hikers during their lunch break. While people were hydrating with water and eating their sandwiches after a two-hour hike, he reached into his backpack and gave them each a treat. People were surprised and appreciated his kind gesture.

This is what the parable of the mustard seed is all about. It’s about those small acts of kindness, whatever it was, that stay in our memory. Small acts, of cruelty of kindness, leave their effect long after the effects of events of seemingly much greater importance have passed away.
There is, I believe, a profound lesson in this. The Kingdom of God, as Jesus assures us, is about mustard seeds, about small seemingly unimportant things, but which, in the long run, are the big things.

I have always found it ironic that we easily forget the big things, the events that seem of great importance. Who won the Nobel prize for literature two years ago? Who won the academy awards last year? Who won the Super Bowl three years ago, the World Series last year, the Stanley Cup this year? It’s funny how quickly we tend to forget these things. It is also curious what we do not forget.
We tend to forget quickly who won such or such an award, or who starred in such and such a movie or play. But we remember, and remember vividly, with all the healing and grace it brought, who was nice to us all those years ago on the playground at school or who gave us “Smarties” on top of Cadillac Mountain after a challenging three hour hike.

Falls come, winters come, springs come, summers come and go, and sometimes the only thing we can remember from a given year is some small mustard seed, of cruelty or kindness. Taking the time to cross the Canadian border to buy “Smarties” for your hiking partners was a wonderful act of kindness that will never be forgotten. So when you wake up tomorrow morning, it’s your choice what mustard seeds you want to plant.

Lord, I pray for all my Sonshine Friends and thank them for all the small acts of kindness that they have given to their family and friends. I believe that God does cares a great deal about the small things we do for one another.