There had never been a more scorching time. All animals were suffering from drought because the sources of water had dried up. Foxes and kittens, raccoons and dogs, all the animals said, “We will die because we have no water.”
When they did find a little water, it was in a tall narrow concrete vase attached to a patio step. The vase was about 15 inches tall, and there were just about 3 inches of water at the bottom. “No good,” said the other animals, “we cannot get to it.” And they wandered away.
A sly crow said nothing, but went about picking up little pebbles and dropping them in the vase. Untiringly she dropped pebble after pebble into the vase. When all the pebbles in the immediate area were gone, she crossed the road and found more. All were dropped in the vase.
She slept happily in her nest that night and the next day one or two of the animals came back and found the crow rested and fresh while they were on their last legs. “How did you do it?” they asked. “Well,” she replied, “I dropped enough pebbles in the vase to raise the water level so I could reach it to drink.”*
How many things in your life are little, but gathered together they create a big effect? There is not too much value in one feather, but a down coat or blanket will keep you very warm! What about peas, chocolate chips, one piece of popcorn? What would happen to symphonies if there were just one note? Or how could we have masterpieces of art if there were just one color?
When you think of something big that needs doing, whether in your own life, or your family’s or in your town, city, or nation, break it down. Find one thing about that situation that you can do. Do not try to do it all. Try being a pebble. Say something encouraging to someone; smile at a downcast face; write a little note; pat someone on the back. Think of the little pebbles. The purpose of their existence seemed very limited. But combined with the wisdom and activity of someone totally unrelated, the pebble became a source of life! Little things do mean a lot!
Peace, joy, and everything good,
S. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF
(Tale adapted from Aesop)
Sr. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF has a background in education, child development, and family ministries, and her wisdom is now at work at Oldenburg Franciscan Center. She has worked as a teacher, school administrator, and as Director of Family Life Services for two dioceses. Sr. Sharonlu has long been an advocate for children and puts her heart into helping parents build and sustain healthy family relationships. One of her most memorable ministries has been with the people of Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota, where her heart still lies.
The Oldenburg Franciscan Center and Convent are located in Oldenburg, IN. Visit our website or call/write for directions! Individuals and groups are always welcome to make retreats! Also, you are welcome to join the Sisters for Mass in the Convent Chapel at 11 a.m. Monday-Friday or at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.
812-933-6437 / firstname.lastname@example.org