It Doesn’t Take Much

Photo by Joshua Lanzarini on Unsplash

There’s the famous story about the boy walking the beach covered in starfish. He was stopping and throwing them back into the water. An old man walked up to him and said, “Son, there are thousands of starfish. You can’t possibly save them all.” The little boy replied, “But sir, I can save this one and that matters.”

It’s a story that we hear and often roll our eyes at. It sounds so nice. But we all know that the boy is just being silly. I mean, seriously, what a waste of time. Right?

More and more though, I think that the little boy is on to something. How many stories of people changing the world start with just a little action of love and kindness? Just about all of them. The world is changed when one person makes a choice to love and love sacrificially. The world is changed when one person makes a choice to be kind.

My mom says, “It doesn’t take much.”

She’s right. It doesn’t take much to change the world. One kind word. One loving action. Just a mustard seed’s worth of kindness can start something great.

The Parable

Jesus talks about this in two parables in Matthew 13:31-33:

He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard >seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, >but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that >the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a >woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was >leavened.”

Small little things, mustard seeds and pinches of yeast. The kingdom of heaven is like these things. It starts small but grows like crazy.

In the ancient world the mustard tree was thought of a weed by many. It was robust, strong, and the tree was easily spread. Yet, it wasn’t typically thought of as a nesting place for birds. Jesus was pointing to the reality that the kingdom of heaven here in the world would start small but become a refuge.

You do not need much yeast to leaven the dough. Just a pinch is all you need. The kingdom of heaven is like that. Just a pinch and it would multiply and grow beyond belief.

These two images tell us that the narrow path is one marked by a lavish welcome. A welcome to people that nobody would expect. As the kingdom grows we can expect push back (just like the mustard tree that people thought were weeds). The growth of the kingdom is going to be exponential and uncontrollable.

So What?

How does this apply to us? Quite simply it means that, it doesn’t take much. We don’t have to do some huge crazy thing. The reality is that if we can be kind to our neighbor, co-worker, or even our kids that’s all it takes.

How would the world change if each of us chose to be kind today? Kind in our interactions in real life, online, or even our thought life. ***The world would be different. Why? Because it doesn’t take much.