In our younger years we imagine Big Things.
Publishing a book – followed by a book tour. Securing promotions and sizable salaries. Becoming competent in a field with initials after our name. Alleviating poverty, improving literacy, advocating for the downtrodden. Magnificent marriages and perfect parenting — our children “rising up and calling us blessed” (a la Proverbs 31:28).
A decade or two later and the reality is…
There’s no book tour because there’s no book.
Frankly, we are relieved to still have a job.
Our initials belie the fact we squeaked by.
And no one’s rising up anytime soon to call us blessed.
There were no Big Things.
But maybe Big Things are overrated.
First off, they leave us wanting more — a better promotion, a book that doesn’t have to be self-published.
And most assuredly, it’s not the Big Things that we’ll look back on at the end of our days.
Here’s a sampling of my treasured Little Things – making me smile and stopping Big Things in their track.
3-year-old Alex asking me to paint her “feet-nails”.
8-year-old Jared wanting to play driveway tennis. With me.
Our family playing endless games of running the bases.
Sharing bedtime stories surrounded by stuffed animals placed just-so.
Making dinner with my husband, Brett – sipping wine and sharing glances familiar yet delightfully mysterious even after 30 years.
Laughing so hard at Brett’s stories, I can’t catch my breath.
Keeping company with Codie – whose life’s mission is to deliver balls, socks, undergarments, along with an avalanche of full face kisses.
Then there are those Little Thing stories that make me chuckle —
– That 1990 job interview. when I mused, “I am nailing this! They love me. An offer will be discussed the minute I leave”
Then on the way out of the trading room, I turned, mid-walk, and said out loud, “Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.” Very professional. Very appropriate. The only problem was that I was speaking not to the face of a VP, but to a large column. An inanimate object. I regrouped – but not before noticing the look of shock from several blue suited professionals, whom I never heard back from.
But how I love retelling that story.
– That year I shared a classroom with two beloved colleagues. We collaborated on lesson plans and together improved our practice. But what I remember most is that we took turns hiding this disturbing stuffed animal inside shoes, briefcases, purses, restaurant napkins. It was last seen on my car’s dashboard. I am still debating where it will turn up next.
As I giggle.
Maybe at Heaven’s door, we’ll be asked about these Little Things.
Maybe God cares more about how we treat a waitress than he does about our resumes weighted down by hyperbole flirting dangerously with untruths.
I believe that each day has its share of Little Things designed by God to satisfy our soul.
May He give us eyes to see and mouths to giggle.