“In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” Romans 12:4-6 (The Message)
There is a popular song on the radio right now talking about how it’s okay to dream about making a big imprint in this world in Jesus’ name, but don’t let one’s vision for “greatness” overshadow the difference we can make in the here and now today. Raising our children, pastoring a smaller church instead of a megachurch, serving in a smaller, unseen role instead of out on stage – all of these acts of service matter in the lives that are touched and all are seen by God as great, even if the audience that receives the blessing is “small”.
That song came on the radio while driving home on our road trip and our eight-year-old and I started talking about it. I casually mentioned how much I love the song and so we talked about how working in the background was just as important as working out in front.
I had just finished a book over the weekend about newly-married couples and the internal struggle of the wife who was staying behind for six weeks with their 2-year-old daughter and 2-month-old son while her husband went and “built a well.” His “service” seemed much bigger in comparison to hers – she was keeping little ones alive while he was helping to supply fresh water to an entire community. Yet, in God’s eyes, when done with the right attitude, both acts of service were equal. He was equally pleased.
God has planted some really big dreams into my heart. In my eyes anyway, they are huge and impossible without His guidance. I’m slowly and steadily working toward the goal of accomplishing whatever God wants me to do in His name. However, God reminded me on this simple early Sunday morning road trip, sometimes, it’s my kids or my husband who will be doing the “big” and I will be contributing in the background with the “small.”
You know what? I’m just as happy stepping aside and letting them do “something big.” Our son was given the opportunity to speak Jesus to a group of fourth through sixth graders that upcoming week – and needed transportation to get there and get home. He would be sharing a cabin, role modeling, having discussions about God, building relationships, etc. to help those kids see God in action. He was doing something big.
Our family, on the other hand, took our role of “dreaming big” alongside him seriously. As I told him when he thanked his dad and me countless times for our help, “that’s what family does.”
That type of service and coming alongside one another shouldn’t be confined to biological families. It should be evident with church families as well. It’s important to “dream big” alongside each other as we all fulfill the purpose God gives all of His children – pointing others to Jesus, the only One who can save.
I still have big dreams. God will help me fulfill the ones He wants accomplished and will change the others or help me let them go. In the meantime, I get as much pleasure in helping my family – husband and children (and other brothers and sisters in Christ) “dream big” by coming alongside and doing the “small” which is necessary to fill in the gaps for their “big.”
Because, in reality, every act of service, when done with a heart of praise to Him, is all big in God’s eyes.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018