I spend a lot of my time talking myself off mental cliffs. Tell me I’m not alone here.
- I have to decide today if I want more kids.
- I don’t do anything “big” so I don’t do anything to serve God.
- If I were a good mom I wouldn’t have just put clothes back in the dryer so that they aren’t on the couch unfolded when Justin gets home.
- If someone answers “no” to an email it’s because I’m a failure at writing and nobody wants to collaborate with me.
- Someone unsubscribed to my newsletter. I should quit the internet.
These mental cliffs- the all-or-nothing, mountain-out-of-molehill cliffs- come up at least once a day.
That second one is a big one for me. If I really want to serve God, I should do something big, something noticeable, something spectacular. It needs to be something that everyone else sees so that they know I love God too. I have to be a missionary or take to the city streets telling people about Jesus or donate large sums of money to ministries and charitable organizations.
That’s, of course, not true. There’s nothing wrong with the things I mentioned but they aren’t where I am today.
Today I’m going to cook pancakes for breakfast and make beds. I’ll do at least three loads of laundry, serve nine snacks, and read pictures books until I almost fall asleep. I’ll practice piano and sound out three letter words with Micah. I’ll take the boys on a walk, clean the bathrooms, make lunch, tuck boys in bed for naps. I’ll go over our memory verses and sing songs and break up fights.
Depending on what day it is, we’ll go to the library and play with friends and run errands to the grocery store and post office. I’ll write the words, draw the pictures, complete fifteen minutes of a class.
Nothing big. Nothing fancy.
I won’t do it because it’s exciting or because I’ll get any awards. I won’t make a final round through the house picking things up and turning off lights because it’ll get likes on facebook because nobody cares. People do this every night.
But it’s obedience.
God wants what I have, not what I wish I had.
He’s not asking for more money, just the money I have. He’s not waiting for me to develop new talents and skills; He wants the ones I have. He hasn’t asked me to move to Asia and care for orphans; He first wants me to raise my children.
Can He add those things? Certainly. But what He wants first is for me to give Him what I have. Then He can give me more to give back to Him.
The problem comes when I think my little isn’t enough so I keep it to myself. Often it’s not because I’m greedy; it’s because I think it’s so small it doesn’t matter. I think it can’t make a difference. I think it’s insignificant.
God never calls us to significance. He calls us to obedience. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10
He wants me to be faithful in the little.
Faithful to tell my own children about Jesus. To cook the food for dinner, sound out the short words, change the dirty diapers. He wants me to take one meal to one friend, invite one neighborhood kid on a walk, memorize one verse with my boys. He wants the small work of today.
If I get up each morning and give Him the small work of that day I will spend my life serving Him. The small things will add up to big things, like raising a family and inviting the neighbors to know Jesus.
All the big things are made up of little things done well, done consistently.
And today is a day of little things.
Learn to do common things uncommonly well. George Washington Carver