I did it to myself, and I knew better. That last cup of late night coffee created my self induced insomnia and now I was dealing with its effects.
Isn’t it something, the vast scope of topics our mind travels to as we lay awake in bed?
Over the course of an hour, I simultaneously had a brain storming session about my upcoming conference, confronted a difficult parent over a recent ugly, team sports situation, cooked my bulk ground beef in the crock pot for tomorrow’s Taco Casserole and basically solved our nation’s health care issues, all from the comfort of my bed without opening my mouth.
I fluffed my pillow a few times, tossed and turned trying to get comfortable, and then began a slow descent.
Doubts about my blog, my lack of “drive,” and even questions of how I fit into this social media circle slowly crept to the surface. The new worlds the internet opens is truly a gift, but it also brings its own set of challenges and insecurities to those of us who share words here.
As I write this, I shudder to think how easy my thought life becomes all about me.
Sleep finally lured me in, and with morning light, clarity surfaced.
I stumbled downstairs to start a fresh pot of coffee (I know, I know, that started this problem). I glanced towards my kitchen island, and the first sun rays peeked through the clouds. It felt like nearly a month since I’d seen that beauty. It filled my heart with anticipatory joy of things to come; a celebration for the new day.
As I rounded the corner, I noticed the words illuminated by the rays.
Written just the day before as a reminder of my focus, I smiled at the Lord’s gentle nudging. He personally highlighted it for me.
Others. Jen. It’s as simple as that, others.
Sometimes we spend all our time looking in vain for some spectacular event, some larger than life calling, when it’s right in front of us.
It’s in the small, seemingly ordinary of our every day that we are called to be faithful. It’s not just through flowery phrases or scripted reflections that He finds favor, but it’s when our hearts are turned towards those around us at the grocery store, in our child’s school, in our workplace, that He multiplies our ministry.
Do I purpose in my heart to look to the interest of just one other person each day? One stranger with whom to interact? One lonely woman hiding in her cubical? We never know the impact that exchange might have.
Oh Lord, use my small, ordinary offerings to bring you Glory. I know that you’ve ordained them for Your purpose. Remind me, Lord, that You are the Potter and I am the clay. Each day, carve out a little less of me, so that people may see more of You.
As I finished up a conversation at church, I saw a gentleman waiting. I recognized him from our congregation, but not someone with whom I’ve interacted. He asked if he could speak to me a few minutes, and proceeded to tell me of a conversation that we shared nearly ten years ago.
During one of the most devastating times in his life, the encouragement I shared impacted him so greatly that he needed to let me know of the life change that occurred over the last decade.
Without going into all the detail, needless to say, my words impacted him.
I could scarcely breathe.
We finished our exchange. He walked away and I stood, stunned. Tears rolled down my face with disbelief, but a new understanding washed over me.
This was not about me. It was about Him slowly chiseling away to reveal Himself.
I thought back to my life stage ten years ago and pondered what I could possibly have said that mattered. I was a young mom with five little ones. I had no “life.”
When my days consisted solely of changing diapers, blowing noses and a beauty regime that routinely included breakfasts’ dried oatmeal in my hair, my availability mattered.
During my invisible moments, God used me.
I didn’t even remember our conversation, which leads me to believe that nothing earth shattering flowed from my lips, but I was available.
Present. Others focused.
That’s what it was. I was fully present in the moment.
I had no agenda. No set course for that conversation. I listened and he felt heard.
This wasn’t about a notable platform or words I’d written. It had nothing to do with leadership roles held or some lofty goal attained.
It centered around a small moment; a seemingly insignificant exchange with a stranger that profoundly impacted how he viewed his next steps.
The ordinary used for His Glory. That is only God.
We could start a powerful revolution if we banded together and focused just one small, seemingly insignificant moment towards someone else, but let’s not expect anything in return.
Won’t you join me? What might yours be today?
I first shared this over at (in)courage, where many chimed in with their responses.