My days have been reduced to very small and ordinary things. This is actually good sometimes because I truly lack the brain cells necessary to articulate even the easiest thoughts (I know I harp on my shortage in brain cells but it’s really quite serious!). Gone are the huge papers and planning complex activities for youth.
Some of these daily things include – obviously – changing diapers, cleaning spit up, heating water for bottles, but also tasks like letting Ellis out to stretch her legs and do her business, getting the coffee ready for the morning, and writing the grocery list for Andy. All of this initially made me a little sad – afterall, on a grander scale, they have little importance or significance then say, planning a mission trip for youth and adults to the DR.
BUT, I know there’s a lesson in here about being faithful even in the smaller things. Afterall, I could be lazy or take shortcuts because who would know or care? I remember a good friend from my college days, who was a Bible study leader and an English Lit grad student, too, used to challenge my grade-mongering ways – rather than doing it for the grade or ultimately for others’ approval I could make all my studies an exercise in spiritual devotion: To do it all for God’s glory. All of it – the big exams and papers and the little assignments, too, lectures, discussions, and taking notes, whether I got a grade or not. This has stayed with me even if my grades haven’t always reflected the expected studiousness.
I’m realizing now that being faithful isn’t just an exercise or discipline I do – it also does something to me – it shapes my attitude and perspective. Somehow the effort and experience feeds me, too. With the tendency towards simplicity in my daily work and routine, there’s less clutter in my mind so I notice more…even the most mundane captures my imagination and provides a space for contemplation and prayer. Like the sweet curve of a baby’s fingers in a soft fist.
It’s about being faithful and attending to those smaller things that ends up really cultivating gratitude in me in ways as meaningful as any other work or task.
Loved the following that was emailed to me by Emergent Village:
Whenever I reflect back on my life so far, many of the most pivotal moments have occurred around tabernacle-like events: a surprising conversation that changed the course of my life, a chance encounter with a person who would became a lifelong friend, or a memorable moment when my imagination was stirred by a divine whisper that would sustain me through dark times ahead.
It’s no accident that these liminal experiences so often occur when we are far from home and in the company of strangers. We are generally more open to the movement of the Spirit when we are uncertain of our place.
With the small and simple there is more space for the Spirit. When I connect to God’s spirit deeply then God can grow and shape God’s faithfulness in me even more. How fitting that it would be happening here – this strange place called Bloomington…God working hard on these little seeds to make them bloom this season.