Monday, January 07, 2008

The Big and the Little

Awhile back I read a fun, mom-lit novel where the main character wanted to do Big Things for God, yet her desire was continually thwarted by the demands of life as a wife and mom of three, the Little Things as it were.

I understand her frustration. Several years ago I too felt as if God may be calling me to Big Things. Unsure of His direction and sensing perhaps He needed my go-ahead, I prayed and surrendered my Little life and yielded to the Big to come.

I waited, believing God to close doors and open windows. I waited and believed, though my phone didn't ring and the letters didn't come. What went wrong?

I found that while I wanted to do Big Things for God, there was also that part of me that equated the Big Things with ease, success, and accomplishment and not so much work, failure, and more work.

I also found that sometimes the Big Things God calls us to do are really the Little Things, the ordinary act of service, the mundane, the simple. I've found that doing the Little Things as serving the Lord Jesus is impossible apart from Him, and that as I do them depending on His grace and provision they become Big Things, reflecting the bigness of His mercy and His faithfulness.

There is nothing wrong with dreaming big nor of accomplishing Big Things for God. I am profoundly grateful for those God has called to Really Really Big Things: John Piper, John MacArthur, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and countless others. But sometimes, not all the time but sometimes, I wonder if we despise the Little in our pursuit of the Big. Ours is a culture--Christian and secular alike--consumed with accomplishment.

Reminds me of that conversation I had with my son about his lofty career goals (involving by the way a professional sport and an astronomical salary) where I told him:

"By all means, if you're going to dream, dream big. I just want you to know there is nothing wrong with living an ordinary life. God calls some to be famous, but God calls far more to just be regular, ordinary people."

Again, quoting myself in that same post:

Nothing wrong with dreaming. And nothing wrong with dreaming big. As a matter of fact, let's dream big...but not in terms of worldly success and accomplishment. Let's dream of a life that reflects the bigness of our God. Let's follow that dream with persistence and boldness, believing not in ourselves, but in our God with Whom all things are possible. May He be glorified, in the big and the small, in the spectacular as well as the ordinary!

I told my husband today I fear entering heaven and seeing the expanse of my life, what it was and what it could have been, and realizing all that I could've and should've done for the glory and honor of my Savior. I fear the realization that I wasted my time, as short as it is, drifting through, floating along, waiting for life to happen to me. I know my bent to apathy, my tendency to do nothing rather than something.

If I am honest, deep down honest, I really care little about accomplishment, Big or Little. I want to live my life, the whole of it, in complete and total obedience, losing myself in the great expanse of the great glory of my all glorious Savior.

Wherever He leads, I want to go. Whatever He asks, I want to say yes. Whatever He requires, I want to joyfully yield. May the Big-ness of His glory be reflected in this Little life...

12 comments:

  1. Well, when your name is Lisa and you love to write and you see a blog called Lisa Writes, you just have to go and check it out! So...here I am! Another Lisa that writes!

    I LOVED what you had to say in this post. So often we look for the big opportunity and big thing while missing the smaller, but no more insignificant things! God's plan for each of us is BIG, no matter how society defines it. How sad it must make Him when we push aside what we consider less worthy in a quest for something more. Thanks for the reminder!

    Lisa :)

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  2. Excellent thoughts here, Lisa. Thank you for this reminder! It's so important for me to remember that motherhood and creating a home for our family are BIG things. I think "big" and "little" are tags we attach to activities...not God. If we don't take care of those little things, how can He entrust (what we call) the big things to us?

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  3. I love the Becky Miller books. I can really relate to her! Several years ago, I thought God placed a "big" calling on my life, that I have yet to realize (for the same reasons as yours).

    I'm studying the Book of John, and I realized today that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. He left to follow Jesus. He went & got Peter (who apparently hadn't been following anyone). Peter gets a lot more "press" in the Bible & obviously did HUGE things for God...but I wonder if he would have done those things if Andrew hadn't gone to get him. Andrew's impact was just as large as Peter's, even though it wasn't as visible.

    I'm working on a post on this very topic as we "speak" ;-)

    Great thoughts! And I have a feeling your life is much bigger than you think it is.

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  4. I too suffer from the "Big and the Little." With so many people do so many "big" things around us, it is hard not to get swept up in the belief that what one must do for God must be "big" in order to have impact. But God is so amazing because what we may view as "little: is big in His kingdom. I think we are all going to be surprised at how big the little was in heaven :)

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  5. These are wise and wonderful words. We are so deceived in how we define the Big and the Little. To God, nothing is Bigger than faithfulness and obedience.

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  6. I love your writing style! :) Glad to have found you.

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  7. Hope you don't mind...I quoted and linked you in my post.

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  8. Hi Lisa. This post was amazing. It completely expressed all of the emotions and struggles I've been having lately (combined with Melissa's post too). I want God to call me to Africa, but He wants me to change dirty diapers. I'm eager to do Big things for Him, but He isn't asking me to do those things. I need to be willing to follow wherever He leads me - even into anonymity.

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  9. Lisa, I went through this for a few years and finally came to a place of contentment about it. I wrote about it at http://devotions.pragmaticcom.com/2006/06/whats-next.html I've always felt that life is a journey and that this time in my life is preparation for the next. But from my current vantage point, next is NOW. And I'm good with that.

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  10. I love the Becky Miller books. I can really relate to her! Several years ago, I thought God placed a "big" calling on my life, that I have yet to realize (for the same reasons as yours).

    I'm studying the Book of John, and I realized today that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. He left to follow Jesus. He went & got Peter (who apparently hadn't been following anyone). Peter gets a lot more "press" in the Bible & obviously did HUGE things for God...but I wonder if he would have done those things if Andrew hadn't gone to get him. Andrew's impact was just as large as Peter's, even though it wasn't as visible.

    I'm working on a post on this very topic as we "speak" ;-)

    Great thoughts! And I have a feeling your life is much bigger than you think it is.

    ReplyDelete