Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Living Small

It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, the long to-do lists, the pressure to achieve and accomplish. There is so much emphasis on producing, doing better, gaining more followers, making a bigger impact. An emphasis on big and important, rather than on small and ordinary

And it is a breath of fresh air to be reading an amazing book that so beautifully talks about just the opposite of what we are so often pressured into thinking. I am in the midst of reading a brand new book by a very gifted author, Emily Freeman ...  Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World.

embrace small-moment living

I am always reminding myself to embrace the small, to live in the present ... for there is such a pressure to do the opposite. And when we look at Jesus' life, we see the perfect example of small-moment living. We do not see Him hurrying through His short time here on this earth. We see Him walking purposefully and in close connection with His Father, giving His full attention to His present surroundings, to the people who were with Him in the moment. And I long to follow in His example, embracing the everyday; listening, and giving full attention to the small and the ordinary parts of our days.

"The metaphors Jesus used for the life of ministry
are frequently images of 
the single, the small, and the quiet,
which have effects far in excess
of their appearances: salt, leaven, seed.
Our culture publicizes the opposite emphasis:
the big, the multitudinous, the noisy."
(Eugene Peterson, as quoted in Simply Tuesday)

"It is ingrained in us that we have to 
do exceptional things for God -
but we do not.
We have to be exceptional 
in the ordinary things of life,
and holy on the ordinary streets,
among ordinary people ..."
(Oswald Chambers, as quoted in Simply Tuesday)

Jesus did not need to be known, applauded, or even recognized for who He was - He simply was living His life one day at a time. Keeping His eyes on the Father, living as His Father would have Him live. He actually lived "small", seeking no worldly acclaim. 

What if we chose to do the same? Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Emily Freeman in the first three chapters of her book (which is the point I am at now in reading her book) ... encouraging us to embrace the "small", following the example of Jesus.

"Instead of forgetting or running from my own smallness, what if I chose instead to look it in the face, to settle down into the place where I am, to notice what is happening around me on my ordinary days? What if these small moments are the very portal into experiencing the kingdom of God?"

"What gives moments meaning is not the moments themselves but the presence of Christ with us in the midst of them. To learn to live well in ordinary time is to keep company with Christ on our simple Tuesdays and remember how He delights in keeping company with us. To live well in ordinary time is to believe within the deepest part of who I am that wherever I go, I don't go alone."

* * * * * * *

Loving Lord, please help me to slow my racing heart, to embrace the small, to be fully present each day, each moment. To listen and love well, to invite You into all my ordinary moments, living in close connection with You. Following You, in each present moment, one step at a time ... 

If you would like to follow along with an online book club, gaining additional insight from the author and with others who are reading her book, as well ... click here to read about the details. This five-week online study begins today!

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