I’m tired, I’m restless, I’ve got something stirring in me. I can’t seem to get past the day to day of life. Not that I want to, but I’m constantly being told to make a difference and change the world and buy a t-shirt that helps someone in Africa and use sustainable products and text this number to make a donation now – seriously, you’ll be making a difference!
What if I don’t want to make a difference? What if I don’t want to be different. What if I want to be OK where I am? What then? We’ve formed a sort of ‘cultural captivity’ where we talk a lot about changing the world, only to look out through the glass walls of our own captivity wishing something transformational.
I love the words of Thomas Merton, “You are fed up with words and I don’t blame you. I am nauseated by them sometimes. I am also, to tell the truth, nauseated by ideals and with causes. This sounds like heresy, but I think you will understand what I mean.”
Thomas (can I call you Tom?), I do understand what you mean because part of me, more than anything, wants to change the world…be part of the big picture…have a cause…talk boldly about it…but in the end, I simply find myself, God and others living each day with laundry and the kids’ homework and ideas and small decaf cappuccinos and the Holy Spirit and mail and coffee and dog poop to clean up.
I firmly agree with Eugene Peterson who wrote, “The things that we do when we don’t think we are doing anything significant might make the most difference.” To be crass, it’s easy to look good in front of people, to stand upright and hand that giant check to the local charity, passing glances of complete arrival at who you want to be. But what about the car ride home? The CEO who goes home to an Autistic son. The bank clerk and single mom. The dad who is exhausted from saving lives all day only to arrive home having forgotten to save his own two little ones. How often do we preach the Gospel on Saturdays and Sundays only to tuck it away in our pockets Monday through Friday?
This isn’t about preaching more or doing something different or being someone else. The last thing any of us need is another list. It is about recognizing that the moments we deem “insignificant” may be the greatest moments of all.
Now I’m a little less tired or maybe I see my nodding head and drifting mind as an opportunity to rest. The laundry and cleaning and kids and To Do list and plumbing and meetings and bills and neighbors begin to morph. Resting in the day-to-day I embrace the life given to me. A gift even in the smallest of things! I am here. Reflecting the greatness of the one true God. Each moment…every moment is a once in a lifetime chance to be significant.