Little things make a big difference. Don’t take my word for it—just ask the person in charge of marketing at the local Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They came up with what seemed like a foolproof plan to both engage the large football fan base in the area and stir up a little new business.
With the hometown University of Michigan traveling to New Jersey to play Rutgers University, the restaurant offered a special promotion for the week following the game. For every one point Michigan beat Rutgers by, the steakhouse would offer a one percent discount for each customer’s bill. So, for example, if the Wolverines won by three touchdowns—a very respectable 21 point spread—every patron would then receive 21% off their ticket.
However, likely no one, especially not the owners of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, could’ve predicted that Michigan would win by a final score of 78-0. If you’re doing the math, that means the restaurant would’ve owed every visitor a somewhat unfathomable 78% discount on their meal that week. Not exactly the money maker they had likely envisioned. Instead, they had to make an immediate amendment to their earlier promotion, stating that the discount would have to be capped at a slightly less exciting 50%.
Little things make a big difference. One percentage point here or there surely didn’t seem like it would make much difference when the restaurant’s PR team dreamed up this little promotion. But one point after another, one added on to another and to another and to another, over the course of a few hours, ended up creating a pretty impressive total.
Little things—in football, in life, and in faith—add up to big, important differences. In the Old Testament, the prophet Micah wonders aloud “What does the Lord require of me?” And the response is a declaration that God does not look for grand displays or great big demonstrations of faithfulness.
What does God ask of us? Simple steps toward justice. Everyday actions of love and kindness. The kind of unassuming humility that won’t turn heads but can enrich lives.
God doesn’t seem too concerned with keeping score and isn’t particularly interested in a conspicuous sort of faith. Instead, over and over again, God emphasizes the little things. Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly.
Do. Love. Walk. Simple words and unassuming actions that add up to great big differences in this world.
–Katy Warren, associate pastor