“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”
The Rev. Sarah Puryear finished her morning sermon Friday with these wonderful words from Mother Teresa. Sarah had just finished preaching on Jesus’ comments in Luke 16:10:
“If you’re honest in small things,
you’ll be honest in big things;
If you’re a crook in small things,
you’ll be a crook in big things.”
Sarah shared with us that she had wonderful opportunities as a teenager to do international mission work in Nepal, the Philippines and in Africa. She admitted that after these trips she’d return home and find that her routine, normal life as a Christian was somewhat “boring” compared to the glamour and excitement of foreign lands.
She reminded us that we shouldn’t long for a more exotic calling in life, instead we should be faithful in the lives that God has given to us and take pleasure in doing what he has asked us to do. Even doing “small things” for God matters.
I thought about Sarah’s words later in the day. For the early part of my adulthood, I kept looking for my “purpose in life” always struggling to achieve more and accumulate worldly goods. A few years ago, my heart was changed and I started serving God first. But then I went through a period where I knew my purpose and I plunged headlong into it, exhausting myself on most days with serving the Lord! I realized that I was making it “my purpose” instead of “God’s purpose”, trying to make up for “quality” with “quantity”. But God needs us to be healthy and rested to do his work.
Now I honor the small things that God has asked me to do. I would like to do grand things like eradicating poverty in South Africa, but instead God has asked me to love people, one at a time.
More words from Mother Teresa are a constant reminder to me: “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”
Do small things with great love.
Blessings, my friend,
(Excerpts from a sermon by the Rev. Sarah Puryear, November 9, 2012)