Thursday Thoughts

Lord of the Big, the Small, and Everything in Between

There is a prayer I have shared before that has come to mean a lot to me. Students in our
ministry often make fun of how regularly this prayer comes up when I teach. Some of them even remember parts of it when I ask! (I have found that it is often the less consequential parts they remember, and the overall point is missed, but it is a start nonetheless.) The prayer is:

Lord of all pots and pans and things… make me a saint by getting meals and washing up the plates!

This prayer is found in a short little book called The Practice of the Presence of God by
Brother Lawrence. Lawrence was a simple monk from France in the 17 th century. By all accounts there was nothing outwardly special about him. He was never the smartest, or most well read, or most put together. Regardless, people saw something was different about him. Many would visit or write to him to seek spiritual advice on a multitude of topics, most commonly on how to live such a content and peaceful existence. The answer was really a lot simpler than you would think. Brother Lawrence tried to do everything as if for the Lord. Somehow, he managed to find God in his work at the monastery in the kitchen. Washing dishes, an activity that is normally a nuisance, he turned over to God. He sought companionship with God in the mundane, in the monotonous, in the everyday, in everything he did. What a gift: to be able to turn otherwise meaningless occurrences into living praise to our God. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “That we ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” The little things are often overlooked. Which is a shame because our lives are made up of these little things. We are often guilty of passing them by in lieu of something flashier, more glamorous, or ‘better’ by our broken standards. This line of reasoning, of course, seems to make sense. God is great and powerful, so he shows up in the great and impactful things. While this is true, it is far from the full picture we see in Scripture. In 1 Kings 19, God doesn’t appear to Elijah in the great and powerful wind, or in the earthquake, or in the fire: but instead in a small, still voice. So often we fall into this same trap of expecting God to be or act in a certain way. The problem is God is not in the business of fitting in the boxes we attempt to force Him into. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking God is only present for the ‘big’ events of our lives. Give the small things over to Him too.

It is my prayer that this week we seek God in the small. Don’t overlook the opportunities
for companionship with God in the mundane. Seek Him out in unexpected places. Listen closely
for that small, still voice we have all been tuning out for far too long.

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