A lot of talk, time and attention is given to “big things.” As I’ve “matured” (over 60 years!), and learned by experience that it’s really the small things done well that inspire, multiply, impact and affect “big things.” Like the parable of the mustard seed, tiniest of all garden seeds, yet when properly planted, it flourishes, filling the garden. It is written that “faith” the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.
Rich Stearns, President of World Vision, speaking to 3,000 gathered for Sunday’s Celebration in the Park, told stories of world changing impact initiated by people who were “no names” at the time. By simply being available and responding to the small need in front of them, they catalyzed a chain of events and people that altered history. Rich’s “domino principle” illustrated how “A sweeping and profound chain reaction can begin with the falling of a single small domino.”
He explained that “one domino can knock down another domino one and a half times its size. If we start with a domino less than a quarter of an inch in height and increase the size of each successive domino by one and a half; with just 29 dominoes steadily increasing in size, the reaction could knock over a domino the size of the Empire State Building.” It starts with the smallest domino doing its part and it builds. One lone domino, no matter its size, or a whole lot of dominoes, if not aligned to do their part, will never produce “big things.”
Following Rich, Club Jubilee Coach Carlos introduced a student, Jorge Perez. Previously, no one knew Jorge except for his grades of D’s and F’s. Craving attention, he did disrespectful things; yelling at his teachers, parents, and disrupting the Club Jubilee After School activities. One day, 4 years ago, rather than punishing Jorge, Carlos took him and three of his buddies into the school gym – 14 other boys followed. With a whistle, a soccer ball and some orange cones on the gym floor, Club Jubilee Soccer was born. Carlos, a youthful unknown, cared for the small need in front of him, Jorge and 14 other unlikely kids. The mustard seed of Club Jubilee Sports was planted. Carlos and Jorge were the catalysts that caused a sweeping and profound chain of events that has now spread to all 7 middle schools, with 6 interscholastic sports, engaging 34 boys and girls teams and 30 other programs with Site Coaches in each school. Club Jubilee served 2700 students last year.
The rest of the story? Jorge will graduate this year from Interlake High School and go to college along with hundreds more unlikely students who raised their school’s MSP test scores from as low as the 40 percentile, 4 years ago, to as high as the 90 percentile this past year.
Now that’s a “big thing” that started with a couple of unlikely guys caring for the small thing that was right in front of them. With Rich Stearns, we love Mother Teresa’s saying, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Thanks for being a domino for Jubilee REACH!
Brent Christie, Executive Director