January 29, 2023
Welcome to my weekly Sunday spirituality post!
Alas, this may be my last such post for at least several weeks. This is because I'm busy traveling (see the calendar here) and also working behind the scenes on TWO new book projects (one on spiritual matters, and another on culinary matters). The reality is that there's just only so much time in the day, and now is a season for me to go into so-called “deep work” mode on these other writing projects.
My juggling all these new projects is, I suppose, a bit related to what I want to share with you in my ramblings today.
See, sometimes we tend to get down on ourselves because we feel like we aren’t doing enough (e.g. why can't I write you a weekly Sunday post and write these books at the same time?). Often, this can result in a feeling of being drained, demotivated, running out of energy, and simply sensing as though we just don’t have enough gas in the tank to make a difference.
After all, some philanthropic billionaire is sending rockets into space to beam internet to technology-deprived tribes in a third-world country, and all you can do is pay for your aging mother’s internet bill. A commanding, impressive woman on the television is wearing a pantsuit and running an entire state, and you’re scrambling to somehow make breakfast and get the kids to school. A world-famous missionary is coordinating church builds, Bible translations, and food and water deliveries overseas, and you only told one person about Jesus last week.
But look: while there are indeed big problems the world faces, and big ways to solve those big problems, there are also minor but meaningful ways in which you can positively impact others every day. Each morning you wake up, you have the power and the opportunity to make at least one person’s day better.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should use this as an excuse to not rise to your calling and to avoid making as maximum an impact with your unique skill set and purpose in life as you possibly can, but it also means you shouldn’t sit on your hands, feel sorry for yourself, and do good nowhere because (like that person who never votes because how could one vote possibly count?) you’re only making a tiny ripple in the pond of worldwide goodness.
For example, my dear wife’s purpose in life is to minister and provide hospitality to her family and the local community. So she cares for our sons, and sometimes for some other children too, when a fellow parent needs a hand. She volunteers weekly at a local community center. She helps out seniors at church who might need a meal cooked and delivered, or a drive to a doctor’s appointment. None of these activities – especially in isolation – feel that “big.” But she’s making a difference. And who knows? Maybe one day God will call her to some massive undertaking that influences hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, because, as Luke 16:10 describes, those who show responsibility in little can be given responsibility in much. But maybe not. Maybe she’ll never be some famous Mother Teresa figure. That’s just fine. The most important thing is to do, by the grace of God, what you can to make a difference – whether large or small – in some way, every day.
Sometimes these small daily acts of service might feel unexciting, tedious, humdrum, and mundane, but that’s no reason not to do them. As author P.J. O’Rourke once wrote: “Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.”
How about you? Are there opportunities right under your own nose that may seem trite, ho-hum, everyday, small tasks that would truly help you touch someone’s life in a special way, even if it doesn’t seem like saving the world and doesn’t seem as “big” as something someone else might be doing? Have you been avoiding those opportunities? If so, what do you plan to change?
Let me know in the comments section below.
Finally, as I mentioned above, please expect a bit of a pause in my Sunday posts as I work behind the scenes on a couple of exciting new book projects that I suspect you are going to love. In the meantime, for a complete list of archived Sunday posts for you to peruse at your pleasure, you can click here.
5 thoughts on “Enough.”
Impeccable timing as I have put building my house on hold during a critical phase to walk a fellow member of our church through holistic cancer treatment in another state. Am I selfless? Hardly. The reality is simply I don’t want to look back years from now and think I prioritized stuff over a life. The beatitudes nailed it. Blessings to you and your family- I miss the psalms and deep discussions at
Bucer’s. Blessings to your family.
Great reminder to follow Gods path and help others no matter where you are, what skills you possess or your current your circumstances.
You are appreciated and loved.
More timely insight. Although I will miss your weekly insights during the time you are taking to attend to other projects, I understand and eagerly await your return.
God bless and good luck.
Admittedly,when I first saw this subject line I almost brushed past this email because within those few seconds I clearly anticipated that my often felt sense of inadequacy was about to get a further merciless clobbering by another over-achieving but well-meaning taskmaster.But alas,it turned out to be quite the opposite.Very compassionate,relatable and ultimately uplifting.This has truly made my day and chimes perfectly with what has more recently become one of my most drawn-upon and inspiring quotes from none other than the Dalai Lama:”If you think you are too small to make a difference,try sleeping with a mosquito.”Many thanks Ben.