In relative terms, the Lord Jesus Christ lived His earthly life as a little fish in a little pond.
The first thirty years of His life were lived in such obscurity that His own brethren did not believe in Him (John 7:5). While sometimes thronged during His ministry by masses of people (who largely sought Him for His miracles), those who actually followed Him closely and consistently were few. By the time of His death, even those had forsaken Him. Our Lord, the Creator and King of the universe, "made Himself of no reputation" during His earthly sojourn, and fulfilled His calling in such a manner that had He not risen from the dead, the pages of history would likely bear no mention of His name.
"Walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6). Or, in terms of our present consideration, we must swim, even as He swam. A little fish in a little pond. All believers are called to be little fish, and few are called to swim in lakes, rivers, and oceans. Our generation vividly confirms this point as ambition leads many Christians to seek fame, power, and fortune in the name of Christ, and media technology presents much opportunity to jump out of the pond, as it were, into larger bodies of water. Most drown therein, or are eaten by predators when they foolishly forget that we are to swim as did our Master. The legacy of our time on earth must be one of quality rather than quantity. Were we able to love the relatively few with whom we actually lived our lives in such a manner that the Lord Jesus was increased in their hearts and minds, and we were decreased? (John 3:30). Or did we miss the faces because our focus was on the crowds?
The day approaches when the Lord Jesus will reveal the truth about such matters, and His searching will not address "how many?," or "how big?," or "how much?" "How well?" This will be the question of that day when an ounce of gold will be revealed as of infinitely more value than vast portions of wood, hay, and stubble. The former will remain. The latter will burn. The Lord Jesus showed us this way of "How well?," and He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords because He did. As was He, we are little fish who swim best and most safely in the little ponds where God has placed us. May He grant grace that we see the faces of those with whom we share our pond, and most of all, may their hearts be intimately and well known because we have devoted ourselves to them.
"Thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things."