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To little infinities


One of my favourite movie quotes is from The Fault in Our Stars, in which the terminally ill heroine says to her love who won’t live long,

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I reset the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”

I have a plan for world domination. It is a good plan. I know this because I’ve shared it with my buddies before and they all fell off their seats listening to it. The fall might have been precipitated by other things but in my version of events, my plan did that. They are the same crew that praised my plan to buy a motorbike before I knew how to ride one but I’m sure they are much wiser now.

That movie quote, for me, is a stark reminder not to get caught-up in the big infinity of trying to take over the world and miss the little one around me.  It asks me whether I’m being everything to my little infinity. Whether before wanting to be everything for everyone, I’m being everything for the one. Whether, in this tiny sphere of mine, I’m giving nothing but my best. Whether I’m present and adding value.

It asks me about how, before I want to change the country – the bigger infinity – how am I doing in my home? Before I want to speak to thousands, how am I doing with my friends? Before I want to build apps that support several million users, how am I doing with 70? It tells me, “So you have a big plan…but first take a seat. Focus on the small picture FIRST.” It tells me not to get ahead of myself.

How am I doing with my little infinity? With the relationships-friends, family? With finances? In time management?

The Good Book puts it this way:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10

Maybe the quote’s asking you too, how is your little infinity doing?

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