English Standard Version (ESV)
Small actions can set life-changing things in motion. If you know the story of Zacchaeus, he climbed a tree to see Jesus walking through town, and pretty soon Jesus was dining in his house, and next thing you know, Zacchaeus had renounced his corrupt ways and was giving back to the poor. All because he climbed a tree.
You've probably got stories like that in your own life -- friends you've met because you decided to go try some place new on a whim. I keep hoping that one of these days I'll have a story about how I randomly decided to buy a lottery ticket and happened to win $800 million because of a chance, last second purchase. I'll keep you up to date on my progress.
Here, Mordecai is sitting by the gate, minding his own business, when he overhears people plotting against the King. He passes this along to Esther, who tells the King, which gets the men put to death, setting things in motion that will change the fate of a lot of people. All because Mordecai was sitting by the gate at the right time and place.
So what's the lesson for you and I? Don't discount what is going on right now. Maybe you can't see the bigger picture. Maybe it doesn't feel like anything larger than this moment is happening. At these times, it's easy to doubt that God is at work, because we can't see or feel what's going on. But in these times, we're like Mordecai, sitting by the gate. May we do so with open minds and open hearts, that we may hear the small things, the whispers of the Spirit, that are preparing us for bigger things later on. Be patient. (John Ortberg recent preached a great sermon on patience.) Trust that God is at work, that God is on the throne, and that God hasn't forgotten about you!