What's Your Story – Shannon
[Guest Post by Shannon] Once upon a time, I desired so badly to have something meaningful in my life. And for me, that meaning was not found unless I was working toward something BIG.
When I was a little girl, I remember telling my mom, “I’m bored, there is NOTHING to do, mom.”
Those were small days. I hoped for big days to come when I could make something of myself.
What I didn’t realize was that big days can also bring stress, pride and trials. Now, I yearn for those small days. So many days seem like big days…and the small days are spent worrying about the big days. I feel an urgency of accomplishment…to succeed…to always be working toward something.
You know what I mean?
You see, over my life time, my big days have been filled with a list of very important matters—see if you can relate with experiencing any of these:
A BIG exam to study for
A BIG meeting to lead
A BIG deadline to meet
A BIG race to run (for me this, this race is not a very long one!)
A BIG scholarship to apply for
A BIG conversation to have
A BIG event to plan
A BIG promotion to work toward
A BIG paper to write
A BIG date
A BIG trip to take
Somehow the BIG days have became all about me—what I could accomplish, who I could help, how I would climb to the next step on the latter.
I have come to realize that big doesn’t mean important. When God gets the glory—now that’s something big and important to be excited about. God doesn’t require neither pomp and status, nor perfection and success to be glorified.
He requires love.
My life has been littered by small, and seemingly insignificant, days. You know, those days when every minute isn’t scheduled, the only to-dos on the list are the “optional” ones (like organize the file cabinet or clean the dust bunnies from behind the TV or catch up on 3-month-old emails) but are they so insignificant?
“There are big days, and there are small days, which will it be?”
I thought this reflection on a quote from War Horse would be original but, when I did a little research, I found that someone had beaten me to it, Stacey Tuttle. She even ties in the story of Ruth! How brilliant. She says,
“Ruth set out on what felt like a small task, on what, I’m sure, felt like a small day.” However, “Happening on that field was a big day for Ruth, because she met her future husband on that day. It was an even bigger day than that though. Jesus himself was one of her descendants.”
The point is Ruth had no idea of her fate.
She didn’t dwell on her decision to be loyal to Naomi or complain about what seemed like insignificant and hard work in the field. She just did the next right thing, putting one foot in front of the other. She endured plenty of small days without knowing that God’s big plan was unfolding.
Sometimes, I become wrapped up in securing my own future and controlling my own BIG plan.
I worry that if I don’t make something of myself, than it may never happen, that if I don’t schedule myself silly that I may miss something. However, these past few days have been much needed small days. They were spent with my family and friends, playing games, watching movies and talking. They were spent cooking, grocery shopping and helping out around the house. They were also spent in bed because I was infected with a bad bug. My body forced me to rest, to catch up on sleep, to let others help me—to stare out the window with a hot cup of tea.
Maybe, like Ruth, we are being prepared on the small days.
We learn patience, faithfulness, focus and endurance. They give us time for both quality rest and work, as well as for spontaneity—a last minute coffee date with a friend or a much-needed nap or a work project that we haven’t had time to complete.
“See how the farmer waits for the precious fruits of the earth, being patient about it, until the early and the late rains” (James 5:7).
Maybe it’s time to savor the small days and to take in all that they have to offer. To just be content with the “field” in front of me and my “work” for the day…even if it feels insignificant. God has done good work on the small days of my life; many that I wished would be over quickly. However, He used those days to teach me about patience, endurance, flexibility, creativity, gratitude, solitude, and to remind me of who is in control.
So, maybe the question isn’t: “There are big days, and there are small days, which will it be?” Maybe the question is: “God will use me on big days and on small days, how will I respond to Him regardless?”
What’s your story?
A lover of the third coast and a loyal city cyclist, Shannon has a BA in Public Communication, studied French and literature in Paris and attended the Denver Publishing Institute. Most recently, She left her job as a book publicist to study Intercultural Studies and to work at Moody Publishers where she helps manage StartMarriageRight.com. Follow Shannon on Twitter.