What We Can Learn from Earthworms
Earthworms do tremendous good. They loosen compacted ground by borrowing through it, opening it to water, air, and plant roots. They enrich soil by mixing it with their own digestive enzymes and other organic material to form castings, a natural fertilizer that makes nutrients available to plants as they need them. They breakdown waste products and remove toxins. Their beneficial impact has been empirically verified.
That happens as a result of their daily, individually small, actions. None independently transform a poor field into a good one, but they have a tremendous cumulative effect. And those actions are not sacrificial. To the contrary, they actually help the earthworms live and thrive.
We can have a similar impact by living the way Jesus modeled. We can loosen our hardened environment by small but consistent acts of kindness to others, particularly those who have no right to expect them. We can enrich our surroundings by diligently, humbly, and generously performing the tasks involved in the vocation God called us to do. We can clean our social environment by responding to irritants and slights with love and grace, turning them from negatives to positive examples. Those actions are not entirely sacrificial; they will bless us along with the others we share our environment with.