I have always written things down that speak to my heart or inspire my imagination. Sometimes I do it because I’m afraid of losing the moment, other times I know that I’ll need to ruminate on the idea for a bit before responding. I have books full of quotes, I have notes strewn throughout my laptop and saved in various forms on my cell phone. I have lists of books to read, sites to revisit, moments to record…and yet, I wonder if I’ll get to it.
One of the things I’ve been pondering in the past little while is what I am specifically made for. I attended a wonderful retreat last April about Discovering the dream you were made for. I feared not knowing my dream or having a dream before I got there, but felt that God really wanted me to attend so figured that He would take care of it. I kind of got a bit of a vision of some of the areas He had given me a passion for, but not to much specific. I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl anyway, so while I was a little concerned that I didn’t have a ‘specific’ dream, I figured it would come to me.
Some of the articles I’ve been reading lately, and even some of the books that have crossed my path have challenged my thinking about being called to one specific thing. If you spend your life waiting for ‘that moment’ when you know that you’ve been used of God for one BIG thing, then what is the rest of your life leading up to? I know we are to glorify Him with our lives and that is our purpose, but is there more? These articles suggested that there was tremendous blessing and aha moments waiting in the every day, the possibly considered mundane that surround us at every moment. That taking to ‘smell the roses’, take in the sounds around you, really see the person in front of you..that in those moments would be pieces of who you were meant to be, pieces of who you are coming together in tandem. This really struck me as being something I could much better understand than the concept of God giving me a HUGE dream to be a part of.
“But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, for that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience…“Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting…This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull off the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted.” ― Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life
And I wonder in all the planning and figuring out of what God has called me to, if perhaps I’m missing the little moments along the way. ‘The scene happening/unfolding right outside your window…’, am I missing the little ways he speaks to me in the quiet, in the beauty, in the moments. Am I somehow passing so much by just waiting for that moment when I think that I’ve finally arrived (truthfully I know that will never happen, but still I strive).
“What we have is time. And what we do is waste it, waiting for those big spectacular moments. We think that something’s about to happen—something enormous and newsworthy—but for most of us, it isn’t. This is what I know: the big moments are the tiny moments. The breakthroughs are often silent, and they happen in the most unassuming of spaces… You comfort yourself with the mindlessness of it, protecting yourself from the reality that your life is actually happening and you might not be there. It’s scary to be there present, invested, right there on the front line of your life. It’s easier to numb yourself with details and daily doings, waiting around for things to feel spectacular. – Goins, Jeff. The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing
I once read a quote about someone looking for the X that marked the spot, their destination. And how they were so busy looking to the horizon for where they could end the journey, where they could say they had arrived and completed the journey…that they didn’t realize that they were standing on top of the X…their destination. It looked so different from what they had imagined, they didn’t know they were in the midst of it. And I wonder if something I`m so busy staring off into the distance that I miss the moments that God speaks to me here, motions to me there, shows me through His eyes the people he loves and wants them to know…and I miss the opportunity.
It is my prayer that this moments are seen in the right way, with the right eyes…that I won`t be so preoccupied with self and the BIG thing or big dream in my life, that I`ll miss those moments that are happening all around me, in which He is calling me to be used of Him and bring glory to His name.
I am always fascinated to see the different ways throughout the Old Testament that God makes himself known to those He loves and seeks after. Usually nothing like those who are interacting with Him expect but always in a way that they know that He is a loving and powerful God. And often He calls them to things that they had never imagined for themselves…and yet he empowers them to go forth in His strength with His words. What a beautiful reflection is seen in all of this that God works in the small moments, and sometimes they end up being Big moments (those moments that others know about or are clearly obvious to those around you), but usually its in those little things, those things that you might register as being specific to the call of your life, that He is changing you, using you, and bringing you to a place of greatness of being used by Him, and not in yourself.
I was reading a fabulous post by Shelly Miller this morning and the following comments really reiterated what I was thinking through here:
“That is such a God-thing. I love it when He does stuff like that. I can see you there, unwrapping His goodness for you, by way of a friend,and you knowing that it was really from Him, an invitation, a gentle coaxing of His hands to let yourself dabble again. These things are never coincidence, and it’s such a beautiful sight to see His mark on all the little pieces of our lives where we wonder and sometimes struggle–it reminds me that He HEARS me. He hears our heart longings and when we are still too befuddled to move, He takes the first step, and says, Yes–DO this, here’s something to get you started…“ – Kris
“There are so many beautiful things I could comment on in this story. The one that grabs me most, though, is the thread that connects with John 4:10 MSG, “If you knew the generosity of God … ” Yes. What a story of the rich and lavish gifts He gives...“ – Kelli