Right out of high school, I worked at a small print shop, and on Saturday’s we were open from ten to four, really just for me to clean. Business would trickle in, but usually, by the last few hours of the day, I had vacuumed every carpet, filed every paper, and scrubbed every baseboard.
Since I was taking Bible College classes at an extension campus in my hometown, I’d listen to tapes on the Survey of the Old and New Testament while wiping counters and dusting corners. When all my tasks were completed, I’d read textbooks and pray. At times, I’d sit in the quiet of the shop with rays of sunshine filling the space from large windows that crowded the front of the store. And I’d peer out across the highway at hills of green, scattered with scrubby oaks, and I’d feel like David with his sheep. Out in the fields alone, the job at hand fairly slow, except for occasional bouts of excitement, sometimes calling for spontaneous decisions. But for a lot of the day, I had time to sit and soak in the presence of the Lord.
Zechariah 4:10 says, “For who has despised the day of small things?”
I definitely considered that time as days of small things, and I don’t know that I’ve ever really entered a day of “big things”– at least not by the world’s standards. But those days of small duties, small faithfulness, have shaped me into who I am, preparing me for days of harder things.
Days when I’d have to cling to the knowledge gained from those textbooks. Days when life decisions were being made and the heart of God would be all I knew to choose the right path.
Days of new small things. Babies needing fed, diapers needing changed, noses wiped, and arms held, feet guided.
Yes, I’d say I’ve never really entered days of big things.
Maybe some feel they have, but maybe fewer than the majority really enter a life that feels big in comparison to the dreams of our youth.
Not to say that we should ever stop dreaming, because God does place dreams in our hearts. But it’s all those small things that really matter.
They’re what make up our years. They’re what build and shape our characters. They’re what get us around the bends that come to each of our paths.
The husband we’ve committed to love till death do us part, needs encouragement and support.
The little life in our care needs shaping.
The home we dwell in, needs tending, that we’d remain hospitable and welcoming.
Hearts need building on the Word of God — a relationship with Him.
And in the end, all those little things add up to a life lived faithfully. A legacy left to generations who follow on to know the same God.
Times have certainly changed from my college days in that little print shop. It still sits in the same corner of the same lot, owned by a different family, bearing a new name. And though I pass it every Sunday morning, I rarely think of it. In fact, I haven’t entered that place for years.
But the foundation of finding a place of peace and quiet, a place to seek the Lord, it still remains. And it’s still preparing me for the days and tasks ahead.
Continuing to count and linking my gifts with Ann Voskamp and the community at A Holy Experience:
#256 My little guy the artist.
#257 Listening to Natalie Grant’s acoustic version of Your Great Name and at the line that says, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us” my daughter stops and says, “Hey, Mommy, that’s kind-of like when the Israelites put the lamb’s blood on their doorposts.” This mama blessed and excited to see the Lord lead her in making that connection.
#258 Watching the kiddos play football with their auntie and uncle. Laughter, tackles, and crazy amounts of energy.
#259 The beautiful wedding of my husband’s cousin. Seeing the sweet relationship of the bride with her father.
#260 My brother-in-law and sister-in-law. The perfect aunt and uncle to our kiddos. An encouragement to my husband and I.
#261 Picking blackberries with the kids from the bushes near our house – and the yummy cobbler baked.
#262 A swim day with friends we haven’t seen in awhile. So, so good.
#263 Coffee with a dear blogging friend and leaving an hour later than planned. Sharing hearts and dreams. Thanking God for her friendship.
#264 Getting through a crazy day teaching the three-year-old class at church, but what precious hearts.