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Service Small and Simple

by ellen wheeler

Moms have competing strains and stresses. We strive to serve the needs of our own families. There is a constant demand for our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness. We know we are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth and we want to give to our family and friends.


We also see the ever present needs of others and know we need to serve and volunteers outside the home to create the world we want our children to live in. It can be a delicate balancing act. If you are like me you think, “I am barely making it through each day, doing what I need to do. How can I provide service for others? How can I do more? How can I serve and volunteer?” We need to remember that serving other does not have to be a big “heroic” act. Sometimes the greatness acts of service are small and simple.

There’s a story of a younger man who sold all his possessions to join the California gold rush. He worked long and hard, but all he ever found were rocks. An old prospector came by and remarked that the young man had collected a large pile of rocks.


The young man scoffed. “Doesn’t matter. I found no gold.”


The old prospector took two of the rocks and smashed them together. The young man finally saw that there were tiny the flecks of gold inside.


“What am I going to do with all that gold dust?” Said the young man. “I want BIG nuggets like the ones in your pouch.”


The prospector tossed his pouch to the young man who looked inside. The pouch was full of gold flecks. For years, the old man had made a fortune out of the small, seemingly unimportant gold dust.

Sometimes we think we can only serve others by making a grand gesture. We discount the little gold flecks looking for the big nuggets. It is our intention to serve but we are waiting for the “right” kind of service. The Apostle Paul counseled, “By love serve one another.”


I have wept in the night

For the shortness of sight

That to somebody’s need made me blind;

But I never have yet

Felt a tinge of regret

For being a little too kind.

C.R. Gibson


Our service and volunteer work does not have to be a grand gesture. Little acts of service are often the things that have the biggest impact. The patient collecting of hundreds of gold flecks – letting in a car in traffic, smiling at the store clerk, laughing with my kiddos, all that “dust” is what make us rich.

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