Last Thursday, I stepped out and did the thing God asked me to do last spring.
As the teachers were preparing for the first day, we were asked to share our worst and best day in our lives. That seems incredibly big, right? So most of us shared our worst and best from our time in our bible study.
Me? This is my second year as a member of this organization at all so I clearly I didn’t have ten plus years of experiences from which to draw. All I had was one, single year and in that year, I’d been a regular class attendee.
This whole teaching thing is new.
And, it’s something I never wanted to do.
Majoring in English Literature earns you the right to answer a few passive-aggressive questions, frequently, “What are you going to do with that?” or “Are you going to teach?”
In modern slang, these questions THROW SHADE on my selected major and on my life plan.
(I know. I can’t pull that off.)
What I knew for sure, even when entering the great big world without specific job training scared the bejeebers out of me, I was not going to teach. My mom taught, first kindergarten and then first grade, and I knew from watching her I did not want to work that hard.
No, no thank you, ma’am.
Instead, I married a teacher. And he works really hard.
As I sat there in a room full of teachers, all of them sharing their experiences over years and years of teaching, all I could think was, “How in the actual world did I get here?” I shared my best and worst day was the day our leader asked me to consider being a children’s teacher and I knew the minute the words left her mouth God was asking me to do this.
No, no thank you, Sir.
“Yes. I want you to say yes.”
Awe, shoot. Really? Dagnabit.
My worst moment was my leader asking me to teach and my best moment was God inviting me to follow Him on my next step.
But how does this thing, this next step, teaching two-year-olds, how does that fit into my overall calling of writing and ministering to women as they seek to build grateful homes and lives and nests rooted in Him?
Have you ever felt that too? Like God has called you to One Big Thing but then He asks you to do One Little Thing and they seem to be completely disconnected?
Almost like God has given us some connect the dots thing activity and you cannot for the life of you figure out what you have to go from 1 to 2 to 3 way the heck out there. This cannot possibly be drawing the picture you have been expecting to see.
How will this One Little Thing lead you to your One Big Thing?
I have no idea.
What I do have is some encouragement and maybe a little perspective.
The One Big Thing Waits…
Not sure about y’all, but as God called me into ministry and gave me this vision of serving women as they build their families, my mind raced towards the big, grand, eventual destination of that calling. And I still dream about those. But things have to start somewhere. Overnight successes are rarely actually overnight. Over a decade, yes. Over a thousand failures, probably. Over a million times someone asks them, What are you going to do with that? Totally.
But God’s calling on our life cannot be rescinded.
“…for God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” ~Romans 11:29
The truth, once Jesus calls us to Him and we accept Him, call Him Lord, we can never escape His unending love and grace. He gives us gifts and talents and, yes, dreams, to use for His glory and to bring His Kingdom to the ends of the earth.
And He can’t take it back.
So while it seems like it’s taking forever to get to the big, grand vision of your dreams, it’s not. It’s taking the exact right time and that vision isn’t going anywhere. You won’t be late for it or miss it and God’s not going to take it away from you as you’re working towards it. His calling will always be there and will always be in you.
The One Big Thing is Bigger Than You…
We live in a culture of competition, of getting ahead, of moving up a ladder in single file. But that’s a lie. In the Kingdom, there is room for everyone and every dream and every gift.
Basically, if I were to get upset with Hobby Lobby for selling wooden signs saying, “Be Grateful,” then I would be assuming I own the licensing on the message of being grateful. I don’t own the message God has given me. God does. I am simply honored to be able to share that part of His message alongside so many others.
There will be pastors and authors and songwriters and podcasters speaking the same message God’s given you. Because we each have a unique voice, a specific platform, a special place at the table. In God’s Kingdom, we are not climbing single file on a ladder. We are pulling up chairs and sitting next to our brothers and sisters at our Father’s table. We are in this together. Not competing against each other.
The One Small Thing is Training…
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that does not last, but we do it to get a crown that lasts forever.” ~1 Corinthians 9:25
If you have ever trained for a sport or studied hard for a test or rehearsed for a performance, you understand the concept of working towards a goal.
Consider this space, this next step, when we are given the gift of time, waiting on God’s perfect plan, we need to accept training gratefully and expectantly.
And this time, I get the JOY of teaching a classroom full of precious, snotty, bright-eyed two-year-olds. Y’all, they are an absolute delight.
Those miracle souls with their chubby cheeks and wobbling legs and excited claps to love and guide and tell them how much Jesus loves them.
I mean, as training goes, snuggly littles feels like a win.
Don’t discount the One Small Thing God has asked you to do as completely from left field. Accept it as training you for the One Big Thing to come.
The truth? There is no One Little Thing. There are next steps and God gives them to us one at a time. Teaching children about God and His love for them is in zero ways Little. It is HUGE. Outside of my own family, this might just be the biggest thing I have ever been asked to do.
And it makes me giddy (also scared) that God asked me to do this.
My prayer for you is as God asks you to step out and take your next step on your journey with Him, that One Little Thing will become One Big Thing as you move towards it. And that your nests will overflow with thanksgiving as you do.