Teilhard de Chardin and Hellen Keller had at least one similar thought. The former said, "Do not forget that the value and interest of life is not so much to do conspicuous things...as to do ordinary things with the perception of their enormous value." The latter echoed that sentiment when she said, "I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."
These quotes resonated deeply with me because I have to constantly fight the frustration over the glacial pace of the labor and delivery of "The Rhyme and Reason Series." It's like having Jordan all over again only longer and more agonizing. He was two weeks overdue and labor went on for days with the worst of it lasting a whopping 27 hours. Of course, it was worth it, and I would have told you that even at the time through clenched teeth and murmered profanity. What could possibly be of greater value than a new life of one created in the image and likeness of the eternal God? To give birth is a grand and glorious thing.
Now I'm faunching at the bit to give birth to a grand and glorious thing. There has never been a shred of doubt in my mind that this series has the potential to make a huge impact for the Kingdom of God. But these quotes do a marvelous job of reminding me that while that might very well be true, there is still the business of daily choices and living that impact me and those around me and will reverberate throughout eternity.
Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Our words count. Words of kindness, comfort, compassion, rebuke, correction or encouragement have tremendous impact and we are given multiple opportunities every day to speak a fitting word to a person in need.
James 1:27 makes a shocking statment. "This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit widows and orphans in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world." This is nothing but a reiteration of the Jesus' reply in Matthew 22: 39 when He tells the Pharisees what the two greatest commandments are. "And the second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
I read that Scripture to a group of women I spoke to recently and I made the comment that if we really wanted to live our faith, we should find a single mother and mow her lawn or take her car to the mechanic and pay for the repairs or take her for a manicure and pedicure or buy pizza for the kids and take them to an amusement park for the afternoon. I was speaking to myself as well. I wonder how many opportunities for "random acts of kindness" I've been oblivious to because I have been too focused on "my call" or "my ministry" or "impacting the Kingdom."
It is with shame and chagrin that I realize what a load of crap that is. Ol' Theilard is right. So is Helen. So, of course, is God. I am fully convinced that mundane and inconspicuous acts of service are of greater value to God than me trying to do something great and noble for Him. I am fairly convinced that He can take care of Himself and His Kingdom.
I still think "The Rhyme and Reason Series" is of Him, by Him and for Him and that He has great plans for it. I'm just not going to be so focused on it that I can't iron my husband's polo shirts even though I don't think they need it or inconvenience myself to do a friend a favor or look for that single mom and give her a break--even for a day.