“Dream big!” all the so called experts tell you. Followed up with some version of; “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
This mentality turns life into a constant hustle, and turns me into an overwhelmed, stressed out, “I’m failing” mess. As an achiever, I will never be content among the stars when the moon is my goal.
God knows my inclination to strive at all costs, so in the midst of planning out the year He gave clear instructions; not this year…no dreaming big, no shooting for the moon…stay small and do well with what I already gave you.
The same message gets repeated every time my mind wanders to bigger and better things. “Just do well with what you have.”
I didn’t understand why I should remain small when so-and-so over there was shooting for the moon, but I obeyed. If I learned anything in the last year, it was that going against God’s will never worked out very well.
So I faithfully ignored my stats and reeled in my thoughts when “bigger and better” carried them away. I tended to my small space on the internet and spent more time with God.
After three weeks of obedience, God offered me insight on being small through the parable of the talents. (The story is too long to quote here, but I encourage you to read it for yourself in Matthew 25:14-30.)
In the parable, a man calls upon his 3 servants to entrust them with his money (talents) while he travels. To one servant he gives 5 talents, another 2 talents, and the third servant, only 1 talent.
When the man returns home his servants come to him with his money. While he was away, the first two servants used the talents wisely and doubled his money, but the third servant hid his talent and therefore only returned one.
The first two servants received the same praise from their master, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
“This is true of your talents too,” God whispered as I finished reading.
I mentally listed my talents: writing, learning, studying, eye for design…and of course my spiritual gifts: wisdom, teaching, and administration. God entrusted these talents to me and he expects me to use them well.
Like the master in the story, God knows exactly what to give each of us.
“And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.” Matthew 25:25 (emphasis added)
Remaining small is not a punishment, but a demonstration of God’s grace. God knew my days were already full…no time for new projects. He knew weariness lingered at my door every night…no margin left for a longer to-do list.
Being small doesn’t mean not growing, but doubling instead of quadrupling. I can foster what I have, helping it grow without aiming for it to explode.
Small is a gift during a busy season of life; His reminder that I am not just a blogger, but a wife, mother, and friend. Our whole lives matter to God.
I need not concern myself with the blogger shooting for the moon while I sit on the floor with a toddler. Perhaps God entrusted her with 20 talents…Or just maybe, she was like me once, faithfully using her 2 little talents until one day she heard, “you have been faithful over little, I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
Through smallness we learn to be good and faithful servants, and through faithfulness God brings us into his joy, blessing us beyond anything we could dream up.
“Actually, the real game of Bigger and Better that Jesus is playing with us usually isn’t about money or possessions or even our hopes. It’s about our pride. He asks if we’ll give up that thing we’re so proud of, that thing we believe causes us to matter in the eyes of the world, and give it up to follow Him. He’s asking us, ‘Will you take what you think defines you, leave it behind, and let Me define who you are instead?’” –Bob Goff, Love Does
Linking up at Moments of Hope