My wrist has a new callus. I just discovered it this week but I feel certain it’s been growing for months. It’s at the exact spot where the buckle of my watch meets my wrist.
Honestly, I had no idea watches could be so damaging.
My only other callus, other than what is happening with my feet (and we’re not gonna talk about that), is on the third finger of my right hand. Exactly the spot where the neck of my pen meets the side of my finger.
When I was younger, and I actually wrote with pen and paper, it was a large, raised, red callus. I wrote a lot. Pages and pages. Filling up notebook after notebook. Some of them were for school, both high school and college, and some were journals and others were really awful stories. (Fiction. Not my jam.)
And now, instead of using pen and paper, I use a laptop.
Thus, I now have a callus in the exact spot where the buckle of my watch meets my wrist MEETS LAPTOP.
A growing, raised, red callus.
My kids, at the ripe old ages of almost seven (an exact age) and four and a half (that half is EVERYTHING), have zero calluses. They have the softest, sweetest skin. They have yet to do anything over and over and over again. Life is new and fresh and precious for them. Discovering the thing they will want to do over and over and over again will take them time. Maybe a decade or so but maybe longer. I simply get to watch them explore.
Last year, my daughter gave dance a try. And she adored it. I thought, absolutely, we are dance people. This is here to stay. Only this year, she asked to try gymnastics. And she thoroughly enjoys it, too. Although, let’s be straight up honest here and say, she’s better at dance. But I’m just Momma. I know mostly zero as far as she is concerned. So we’ll just keep my opinions just between you and me. And we’ll see what she wants to try next.
Likewise, my son started gymnastics, which he ADORED, but after one semester, he decided to move on to karate. Only he’s not quite old enough yet. In the meantime, he’s spending hours taking Legos apart and creating something new. Or pretending to be a rock star with our Rock Band fake guitars. He’s got so much time. And I am loving every second of his journey.
My kids, they get to try out lots of things. Lots and lots of things. All while searching for that one day when they will find their one thing. That activity they cannot do without. Then, they will begin to build up calluses. They will begin to do that one thing over and over and over again.
And love every second of it.
Life is a whole lot less complicated than we like to make it. The same instructions God gave Adam and Eve still apply to us. Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth. Govern it.
But, for most of my life, I’d been reading that passage with such sadness.
A couple of years ago, our pastor changed my thinking about the “fruitful” thing. I don’t believe it’s stepping out on a limb here to say, “we,” Christians have been reading that as “make babies.” Lots and lots of babies. Fill the earth with babies. Govern over the earth and everything it in by making more and more little humans.
Either, you’re too young to make babies, don’t feel called to have babies, are single, or, as in our case, someone who needed a team of doctors, four shots a day and a Johnny Cash-loving embryologist named Glenn, to make a baby, well, that verse is kind of a bummer.
I mean, we did it. We spent the money, invested the time, put our bodies, spirits and minds through the literal ringer and had a baby.
God, in His immense goodness, gave us a son soon after.
So, listen, we did the best we could. We multiplied. We doubled out little family from two to four. And it was hard and, praise the Lord, we were grateful.
But my pastor, he offered me a new perspective. A brand new option.
He said, “be fruitful and multiply?” Create the thing you were created to create. And do it over and over and over and over again.
How much do I love that?
All. The. Love. All of it.
Anyone of us is qualified for that kind of multiplication.
Of course, that leads to the, “Oh sure. But that’s only if you know what you were created to create.”
But. We do know.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.”
You. Me. We. All created to love God with every single part of our being and then love the people in our neighborhood, community, school, the seat next to us on the plane, as much as we love ourselves.
Which is likely a whole lot.
That’s it. We were created to love God and love others.
It’s so simple.
But then, kinda not.
Because HOW do we love God with every bit of our being and then love the people in our life?
You know how? We offer Him the things in life that have given us calluses.
Whatever it is that you do over and over and over again because you absolutely have to do it?
Give it over to God. Offer it to Him as worship. Ask Him to make it fruitful and multiply. Dream with Him about how that offering can fill the earth and govern it.
And if for some reason you think the thing you love doing over and over again is not holy enough, STOP. Just right now. Stop it.
If you love creating amazing spreadsheets and crunching numbers or data or statistics, then give it to God. We non-number people are dying out here. He needs y’all to keep the rest of us straight.
If you love singing and God has put a song in your heart, then sing, friend. Even if it’s only to your kids or with your choir at school. Sing. Sing that song. He needs the song in your heart to bless Him and His people. Your people.
If you love to cook and invite and fill bellies with plates of deliciousness, cook. Set a few extra places at the table and fill hearts while you offer them seconds and thirds. He needs full tables and full bellies.
If you think that thing you have, that thing you love to do over and over and over again is not so much, you are wrong. You are believing a lie. A lie that says you are small, not enough, the world is already full of people far better at your thing than you.
It is a lie.
Straight out of the darkness.
Friend, step into the light of God’s love and goodness and do THAT THING you just can not help but doing over and over and over again.
Give it to God. And let Him make it fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and govern it. Your piece of the earth needs your gift. And it? God can use it to govern. To drive out the darkness and all the lies with it.
Please, smile every time you see your callus.
It is the evidence. God has given you evidence. Large, raised, red evidence of exactly what you were created to create.
And you are in the exact right spot to do it.