It’s a human inclination to want to be famous, wealthy, or influential in some grand way. I want to be a successful author, with big dreams of making bestseller lists and overcoming my severe disability to support myself and my family. It may happen, God only knows. But, it won’t start there. The purpose for which God created me begins here and now, in this moment, as tiny and seemingly insignificant as this moment may be.
Our lives are made up of small moments. What we do in those small moments and how we do them determines how we live – how we live here and now, and how we live forever. Joy is in the loving of each moment of each day – not in amassing.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux said it best. Because she lived it. She had big dreams of becoming a foreign missionary, but she never traveled to any distant or exotic land on mission. As a cloistered nun, she stayed in her convent doing chores and saying prayers (sometimes falling asleep in the middle of them.) She died at the age of 24. And, yet, she is considered a Doctor of the Church. Some would argue that she did do one great thing: she wrote a book. (Read it HERE.) But, such a little book. It was not the amassment of words that made the little book so important. It was the love with which it was written. She was told to write the book precisely because she was such a beautiful example of holiness and love – not in big things, but in little things.
St. Thérèse said: “If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”
How true that is! I love the tiny little flowers of spring, weaving through the greening grass – the bluets and buttercups, the violets and wild strawberry blossoms, so easy to tread underfoot and, yet, so resilient…
So, I ask myself, and invite you to ask yourself, “With how much love do I live my ordinary little life?”
How well do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the lunchbox?
How attentive and patient are we with someone who looks lost?
How much compassion do I give to the caregiver who is washing my face or feeding me?
With how much love do I write my little words on my little blog?
God is in the details. However, they say that the Devil is in the details, too – what does that mean? It means that the little things matter. Every little thing that we do can either lead us into Divinity and eternal joy, or further into profanity and destruction of joy.
Don’t worry, that’s not as scary as it sounds.
God is not asking for rigid obedience or a grand sacrifice. God is asking us to take each moment to think kindly of our fellow human beings, His beloved creatures – and to love Him.
And, so, I am mindful that the Little Way, the way of love that Saint Thérèse lived, is the best way. Whether your life is little, like mine, or grand, you are called, first and foremost, to love as a child loves. To love in this way, in the Little Way, is your greatest fulfillment and happiness.
© 2016 Christina Chase
Although crippled by disease, I am fully alive in love. I write about the profound wonder and terrible beauty of life while living with physical disability and severe dependency. Unafraid to ask life's big questions, I was briefly an atheist and considered other religions before finding, in God's choice to intimately share our humanity, what it truly means to be fully human. A revert to the Catholic Faith, I blog weekly and have written a book called It's Good to Be Here.