Friday night was a busy night. My husband went to see the first night race at our local speedway. My oldest had a soccer game, and my youngest had hockey practice at the same time. Hockey practice was followed by a team party. We managed to get through both soccer and hockey without any injuries. The party was fun. My youngest loved hanging out with all her hockey friends, and I enjoyed talking with all the parents.
We were headed home to put everyone to bed when my youngest got tripped up. She fell off the curb getting into the car after her hockey party. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but when I went around the car, she was lying on the ground whining that her foot hurt.
It was 10:30 at night, so I did what every good mom does. I checked her out, saw no blood or bone, assumed the whining was a product of the late hour, said "you'll be fine," took her home and put her to bed. Saturday morning, she came hopping into my bedroom about 8 o'clock and announced she couldn't walk.
So, off to the urgent care we went. We returned home with an orthopedic boot and orders for a week of rest to heal badly sprained ligaments in her foot.
As I reflected on the events of the evening, I had to laugh. We survived a soccer game where elbows were flying and my oldest ended up on the ground more than once. My youngest made it through practice for a sport that allows 7- and 8-year-olds to carry large sticks and puts blades much sharper than my kitchen knives on their feet. No one suffered injury in either of those things.
Yet, when it came time to do one of the simplest tasks of the evening -- walk to the car and get in -- we ended up with an injury that required treatment.
So often, it's the little things that trip us up. We survive the big temptation only to be caught by the little one. We choose not to lie, only to be tripped up by gossip. We pass on dessert, only to find ourselves adding calories with a piece of chocolate. We do well in controlling our tongue, only to find unkind words spilling out in a moment of anger.
We have to constantly be on guard against the little temptations in life because the more times we get tripped up by the little stuff, the easier it is to lose focus in the big things. Everything we do matters to God. How we act in the small moments is just as important to Him as how we do when faced with the big issues.
God cares about how we treat our friends and family. He cares about how we treat our bodies. He cares about whether we spend time with Him. He gives us opportunities to make the right choices when the consequences are small, so we can make the best choices when the consequences are large.
Matthew 25:23 says "You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things." When we are faithful to follow God in the small things, He will reward us with more opportunities to be faithful.
It's in the way we handle the small things that our true character shows. Anyone can do the right thing in public, but it's what you do when no one is watching that says the most about who you are.
Small things matter to God. Don't let them trip you up.