Last Saturday, I had a frustrating morning. A package that should have been delivered on Friday apparently was “undeliverable” on Saturday. I spent an hour and thirty-seven minutes (I checked my call log) on hold with the US Postal Service before giving up and heading to the post office where the package had arrived that morning.
Now, let me set the scene for you. I was staying at my parents’ lake house in PA for the weekend, and the day was gorgeous – bright sunshine, warm with a slight breeze. It was what we affectionately call a perfect “lake day.” I was ready to relax and spend time in the water. My trip to the post office was not on the schedule.
Once I arrived at the post office, I had to wait another fifteen minutes for a supervisor to appear and essentially tell me there wasn’t anything he could do to help. So between an hour and thirty-seven minutes on hold, a twenty minute drive to the post office, a completely unproductive twenty-five minutes in the post office and another twenty minute drive back to the house, I had wasted almost three hours of a perfectly gorgeous day and had absolutely no resolution to my problem.
I spent another half an hour complaining to my mom when I got home, and most of my frustration stemmed from the fact that the supervisor was dismissive and basically told me he wouldn’t go above and beyond to help me. My thought process was, if that package contained life-saving medication that I needed to make it through that day, would that supervisor have been so dismissive and unhelpful? Probably not.
After all my ranting, I decided to go for a ride in my kayak to clear my head and find my happy place again. As I was paddling along on a quieter place on the lake, I heard God whisper, “Are YOU faithful in the small things, too?” Talk about a gut and perspective check. It made me reflect on whether or not I was faithful in the small moments or just the really important, life-changing moments.
We spend a majority of our time and energy chasing those “mountain top” moments and miss a million moments in between that God is revealing Himself in tiny but miraculous ways. God’s whisper prompted me to ask myself some hard questions about how committed I really am to living like Jesus. Do I possess the same drive to do small, tedious tasks at my job as I do to do the most interesting and important parts of my job? Do I make the same effort to encourage people who are strangers to me as I do for my closest friends and family? Do I make the same effort when working with difficult people as I do when working with team-focused, easy-to-work-with people? And those are just questions about everyday life.
The more difficult questions arose when I thought about my spiritual life and how I’m being salt and light to the people around me. Do I put myself in a position of knowledge and wisdom to have an impact by studying God’s word on a routine basis? Am I ready to share the love God bestows on me with others, even in what seem like mundane moments in everyday life? Am I taking God’s love and mercy for granted?
Colossians 3 gives us a pretty good outline of how to live in God’s grace, how to practice God’s love and how to gain knowledge and wisdom in order to be a witness to others. We’re not perfect, and God knows this – it’s why He sent Jesus to bear our sins by dying on the cross and to rise again in defeat of those sins. Colossians 3 tells us: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (verse 2); you “have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self” through the saving grace of Jesus (verses 9-10); forgive others “as the Lord forgave you” (verse 13); gain “wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit” (verse 16); “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (verse 17).
We make many small decisions every day that reflect or don’t reflect God’s love for us, but the truth is we are commanded by God to do ALL things “for the glory of God” so that everyone “may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10: 31-33). Every word we say and the actions we take every day have the power to save – even, and maybe especially, in the mundane moments that seem unimportant. Every moment we have on this earth is a gift. Who are we to waste a single second? What moments do we miss because we’re focused on “earthly things” (like the delayed delivery of a package of thank you cards, ironically) when we could be an encouragement to others by looking at them the way God sees us?
Jen is a Connecticut transplant by way of Williamsport, PA and Washington, DC. She has spent the majority of her career in the arts and volunteers in various capacities at Black Rock Church, in Fairfield, CT. Although writing has been more of personal outlet for Jen, God has given her opportunities in the past year to publish some of her writing, including a series of internal posts for Black Rock’s Read It, Live It initiative and now, on The Path I Follow.