As any present or former Boy Scout will tell you, an open campfire in the great outdoors is the reason they joined a troop. Hospitable, fascinating and alluring, a campfire warms the heart and was the beginning of many tall tales and ghost stories that are remembered for a life time. And as most Scouts recalled, to get that fire going required logs. Just as important was kindling or “starters”. Young and older scouts as well as adult leaders would spread out looking for fallen branches, pieces of shed bark or scraps of wood lying around the forest floor and blades of dried grass—useless, dead, going, for the most part, to waste.
But put them in a two foot diameter hole surrounded by stones and touch a match or, more challenging, rubbing two sticks together, a warming fire comes to life! Leaping and dancing, flinging up their golden arms towards the heavens. Flames licking and embracing a good size log that will burn for hours and roast many marshmallows in the interim. Yet the logs would have lain dead and without any use unless a match or starter ignited the kindling.
How much life itself is like a Boy Scout campfire? Every single accomplishment, invention and human related advancement was realized not by any single person. Every known human invention leading to the betterment of life depended upon something smaller seemingly insignificant to start it, warm it, feed it. The tallest building, the fastest automobile or the most impressive electrical facility would have never been constructed or built if it was not for someone to have imagined it, failed or succeeded trying to make the item or invention. Without hundreds of thousands unknown, nameless, faceless “starters”, humankind would never have invented the light bulb, built a ship or have been able to fly a plane across the oceans blue to shorten the amount of time it takes to interact and communicate with each other.
Each of us has purpose and meaning in God’s mysterious and wonderful plan. However insignificant our job, however small our contribution may seem, we are vitally important to the salvation of humanity. Celebrating the efforts of the auto mechanic, the disgusting work of the garbage man/sanitation worker or the backbreaking labor of the construction worker with words of “thanks” and appreciation can serve as the “starter” that can get another person’s plans and projects going to make life more Godly for everyone as well as souls for the Most High God whom we should all serve!
Great article, Stephen. Folks forget that it's often the little things and the humble things which make it possible for the big things to function, and God appreciates every bit of faithfulness, in things big and small!