The Little Things Make a Difference
November 3, 2012 Devotion
Last week I discovered the saddle angle of my road bike was off by the slightest amount. After a three minute adjustment, I then went for a 2 hour ride which I had rarely done on this bike since getting it in January because it caused my right knee to ache. After making the adjustment my knee didn’t hurt at all! “Funny,” I thought. It was shortly after January I started having knee problems running… could the saddle position BE the cause for my entire year of pain?
This reminded me awhile back when I headed out for a late afternoon ride. As I pedaled down the Monterey corridor the wind was stiff and giving me a nice little push from behind. While keeping a steady pace at about 28mph and relatively low heart rate, I suddenly felt a sharp burning sensation on the inside of my right thigh. I knew instantly what just happened. I stopped pedaling, looked down at my leg and saw, not one but two bees, I suppose you could say, literally pinned to my leg! After brushing them off, the stinger of one still lodged in my thigh, required me to pull over to remove the tiny, sharp, pulsating thingy!
It HURT like the dickens! (BTW “dickens” is an old-world euphemism for devil. Just in case you were wondering.)
Several days later I discovered the inside of my thigh swollen, tender and itching like the di… you get the idea. Several times that last night I was forced out of a sound sleep due to the destruction of my own flesh. Had I subconsciously continued to itch my leg, I might have needed to go into the burn-ward for tissue repair! The next day during a meeting, I caught myself constantly rubbing the inside of my thigh. Yeah… awkward. On day four after the sting I rubbed an anti-itch cream onto the donut sized reddened area of my leg. Unfortunately, the area was so leathery the cream wouldn’t absorb into the skin! Which brings me to my point… yes, there’s a point to all of this!
How could something so small have such a huge impact?
Fortunately, that thought led to many others which I believe are important to consider when faced with challenges, obstacles or set backs.
First, if something so small can have such and impact negatively, things equally small can have an equal effect positively! Take science and medicine for example… many failures over minute calculations or changes in experiments also led to profound discoveries!
Second, because we most often desire “instant gratification,” when something bad occurs from a seemingly insignificant incident, resulting in a long recovery, we basically think it requires an exponentially significant remedy. Unfortunately, regardless of our hope, most often the recovery must run its course. Therefore, the smaller, less grandiose options are generally best!
Third, we too quickly associate the small incident as part of the whole experience! Yes, generally sometime during the year, I’ll get stung by a bee but I don’t get stung each time I ride! In fact, it’s pretty rare when I consider how often I’m on my bike and just how many miles I put in during a year. Yet, people tend to say, “I’ve decided not to…” because of one small, out of the ordinary, I doubt lightning-will-strike-twice, experience.
Finally, other than those who win the lottery or undergo liposuction, dramatic change does not, better yet, WILL NOT happen because of the big things. It takes consistent dedication to the small things that will make the change. And the good news… because they’re little things, we can usually handle them. If we try to take on the big things, they most often overwhelm us and we quit. But a little diet change, a little exercise, a little less on the schedule a little more quite time can make a really big difference!
Remember, some of the greatest lessons in life have come from really small things, some of the biggest changes in direction come from the tiniest miscalculations and some of the best decisions we make are the one that require the least amount of thought. As long as you have the patience to see the results that come in time and not insist they occur tomorrow, you’ll get there… just like every child who eventually learned to read Bronte, Steinbeck and Dylan, they started with their A,Bee,C’s!
- What is IF