Friday, October 21, 2011

Rediscovering the joy in the everyday

Text for the week: Colossians 3:17 and John 14:1-14

It’s a Thursday morning, and I just met with a student visiting our campus who will be a freshman next fall.  He has a sensitive spirit, and is asking questions about what God would have him do with his life.  I had the privilege of sharing with him that God calls in a variety of ways, and that he didn’t have to buy into the fact that you have to do something big or noticeable for it to be significant.  I also shared with him that he isn’t less of a person if he doesn’t have a classical call to ministry (e.g. pastoral, youth, missions, etc.), but that God can and will use him regardless of how he is wired.

Sound familiar?

I also shared some of the early story of Mother Teresa.   When she left her position as principal at a high school in Calcutta, she thought she was leaving a position of influence.  She was giving that all up to go live and serve among the dying.  What do you think motivated her?  Acclaim?  Recognition?  Title?  I don’t think so.

She saw a need, wanted to do something about it, and did it in Jesus’ name.  Why?  Do we really think she did it for the praise she would go on to receive?  Did she do it so she could be quoted from her speeches given in front of presidents and world leaders?  To give her a platform to write books?  I’m sure one of the things running through her mind was receiving the Nobel Prize for working among the dying, right?  You wouldn’t think there would be much said about someone who goes to live in the slums of Calcutta, to help the dead and dying, would you?

But that isn’t the way the Kingdom works.  The secular world, at times, even acknowledges that.  She didn’t do it for recognition.  There was nothing glamorous about what she was doing.  She was holding hands, washing bed sores, changing soiled beds.  I don’t think she ever believed she was doing anything special.   She wasn’t doing anything you or I couldn’t do.  But it was significant, and there is a difference.

Mother Teresa discovered joy in the every day.  She said, “I have a feeling that we are in such a hurry that we do not even have time to look at one another and smile.”  The joy given from a smile; the difference made in someone’s life because of a birthday party, a card, a word, or a hug.  It’s rediscovering the joy that comes in the mundane, ordinary, everyday experiences in life.  Loving and serving the needs that are around us today — right now.   Never forget, whatever you do now in Jesus’ name, matters.

1 comment: