Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Reminder to Stay Small and Free

This morning, when the air is finally cooling around us and steam rises up from my giant mug of tea, I want to remember true things and relax into a pace I cannot change.

Fighting sleep last night, these words I wrote nearly three years ago kept springing to mind. I need them now as I needed them then. Maybe you'll feel the same.

**Excerpted from Permission to Fail - originally posted April, 2013**

The past year has felt like the most drawn-out invitation to retreat into the Small. It would have been nice if moving to a smaller house had been the extent of it.

Life has gotten busier in the strangest ways, and still, here it is, the nudge and pull to be less, do less, have less. We've been confined in closer quarters, squeezed of our excess, stripped of the senseless religion that's tailed us from our youth.

But we're a couple of old dogs and these new tricks don't feel right sometimes. We're prone to wanting, quick to forget that this is the flipped-under world we signed up for when we believed and agreed that we would walk these miles with Christ.

The truth is, God calls His people to do great things all the time, and by "great", I mean big. And by "big" I mean, like, really actually big. Things that get people noticed. Things that pay the bills and then some. Things that require marketing teams and fancy shoes and extra forms from the IRS.

But sometimes, His calling is big in a really quiet way. Sometimes - often - the Bigness happens shyly, inside us, when we finally agree to unclench our fists from the allure of standing just a little taller than the rest.

I still struggle to find my place, my worth, amid what I think I lack. But here's the fantastic, can't-wipe-the-smile-off-my-face fact of the matter: Little is much. Small is holy. Quiet can be sacred.

Right now, I'm clinging to the simple truth that my Savior found His home in the small and the ordinary. He invented the crazy math where a little + even less = more than necessary.

I'm here, cheering on those who are doing things "better" and "bigger". They're walking the path laid out for them and they're doing it justice. I'm reading and learning from them every day.

But for me, and maybe for you, our bigger doesn't work the room and our better won't ever own the crowd. 

It is neither my duty nor my desire to push away from where I've been placed because this is a thing of beauty and my heart is being straightened out in the process of watching those around me snatch up the things I always thought I wanted.

It's amazing how wrong I've been about what I need. I've seen too much to go back to thinking my plans are the right ones.

So my hope is that in the moments I seek recognition I will find only His; in the days I crave popularity I'll rediscover the humbling gift of my brokenness; in the time and time and time again that I fall back into defining success by things that aren't real, I'll come face-to-weary-face with my failure. Because only then can I remember the truth of it all - there exists no failure inside Christ's sovereignty.

If I am His, I am exactly enough.
If you are His, you are exactly enough.