So we replaced our defunct atomizer, the one that puffs out a spray of insecticide every 15 minutes from its place high on the book case—and noticed no difference whatsoever. Until we went south to babysit for three days. When we arrived back home, we trudged in, bodies weary from child love and heavy traffic, and came to a complete halt. The floor was covered in dead gnats. You couldn't walk through them without smashing them and tracking them everywhere. A broom and a dustpan garnered us a half cup of dead gnats. Now that is a load of bugs!
You can think you don't make a difference in this world. Your kind deeds to your neighbors, your level of patience in restaurants and doctors' offices and on the road, your invitations to worship or Bible study, your words of encouragement to a brother or sister in distress seem small and insignificant. But they are not. They add up and they will have an effect.
You may never know about it. I meet people all the time who, when discovering who my parents are, suddenly pour out their appreciation for things that I never knew about. I hear about their love, their generosity, their encouragement, their examples. I hear praise and gratitude for people I never really thought of as great heroes of faith, and why? Because I was watching them one puff at a time. I never saw the floor full of gnats that accrued after a lifetime of righteousness.
The same thing can be true of you. You may not be able to teach a Bible class that converts a dozen sinners in a month, much less a day. You may not have the time and money to give much more than a couple hours a week to serving, and that scattered about among a large bunch of needy folks. But you can puff out a kind word here and there, a card of encouragement every week or so, a visit or two every week, a meal for a sick family when needed, and a consistent example of faithfulness in your meetings with the assembly and your daily example of life.
So a half a cup of dead gnats is not exactly the metaphor you want to be remembered by, but consider this. Every dead gnat is a defeat for Satan; a bout with selfishness or an impatient lack of consideration or the distraction with the world that you have overcome by your faithfully pursuing righteousness in your life, one word or deed at a time, again and again and again. Satan tries to tell you that it won't matter, it's all too small to make a difference. Show him your dustpan and gloat in his face.
One puff at a time will get you, and maybe a few others with you, to Heaven.
The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. Titus 3:8