Friday, September 21, 2012

A Small World After All

"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears
It's a world of hopes, a world of fear
There's so much that we share
And it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone
Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all

It's a small world after all
It's just a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world"
 -Disney's "It's A Small World"

As I have grown up I continue to realize just how small this world really is. The world seems so big when we are small because everything is bigger then us, but as we learn more about the world and all of the people in it... it starts to seem much smaller then we ever thought.

Recently I have happened upon several unlikely "It's a small world" experiences. (The more these moments happen to me, the more my jaw wants to drop... ) In the last few months, especially, I have met, or somehow encountered so many people who happen to have another unknown connection to my life. It is funny when you meet someone new, only to find that you know the same person, or maybe even have several friends in common with each other; It is so much fun to connect with someone else in that way. I suppose that the more people you know, the more connections between you, them and others you will find but it still surprises you when it happens.

All of these little moments caused me to start thinking about our influence on others... about those times when you may have not been at your best. I try not to be this way, but sometimes I know that I can easily overlook someone that I don't know; Strangers in passing don't often catch my eye. Even the people I may talk to on a regular basis (in grocery stores, the bank, etc.) don't always get the notice they deserve. I wouldn't go out of my way to be rude..but often, I'm not as welcoming as I should be.

Hebrews 13:2 says, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."

How often do you pass someone by without so much as saying hello or smiling? Have you ever encountered that person that asks how you are but then doesn't slow down for long enough to actually hear your answer? 

I think about my grandparents often when I think about that verse in Hebrews. I can think about so many times throughout my life when they had one person or another staying with them in their home; Most of them, temporarily, but some on a more permanent basis. Aside from that, their home has always been a welcoming one. The kind of home you are "always welcome in"; An open door policy that makes everyone there feel happy and comfortable. As Dan and I were among some of the first in our group of friends to get married and have a place of our own, our home has become somewhat of a landing spot for our friends.. and I love that. :) Nothing makes me happier then to be surrounded by the people that I love. I love the idea of carrying on that attitude of a "we're all family here" kind of home.

To wrap up my thoughts... Even a person that you assume you will never see again has a purpose in your life; They were put here for one reason or another. I think that it would do us all well to take time to notice even the "least significant" people in our lives, because it's the right thing to do... and when you really start to think about it... they may in some way be a bigger part of your life then you have yet to realize.

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