11.29.2016

Does it all really matter?

I’ve said the same words over and again these past few days. I’ve kept them in my head, hardly daring to speak them aloud. But today, I mentioned the question out loud, in casual conversation.

Is anything I’m doing here going to matter There? 

Will my days have eternity written on each one or am I just existing? 

Because today’s work hardly felt eternal. Paperwork stacked on my office desk since September had to be sorted, catalogued, filed. Thousands of alphabets and numbers pecked onto my keyboard and entered into files that no one will ever read. Hardly eternal.

I asked it out loud after the work day ended, and I traveled to school to pick up children waiting on a mamma who feels a little worn thin by this world.

Did anything I do today have any kind of eternal significance? 

There’s fires blazing across the heart of our beautiful country even as I type. Burning chapels, burning homes, burning dreams. I sat behind a desk, typing old numbers and alphabets while people watched their homes burn.

This morning was spent reading of heroes who believed in things they couldn’t see. Faltering heroes who had stories beginning in the ordinary. Moses was tending sheep when he clearly heard the command. Did he ever ask if what he was doing mattered? Or made a difference? His life of faith started before the call of God, but was it hard when the sheep smelled, his feet ached, and the loneliness of the Sinai wilderness echoed as a voice mocking his eternal purpose?

In my one ordinary life, can God be most glorified? 

So it’s Test Folder Tuesday at our house today. And one child thought it would be okay to not follow directions, not show work, and not try hard. Which resulted in the type of grade you might expect.

“I’ve got one job to do, and that’s to teach you to work hard at all that you do,” I said.

Because I know deep down, when you work hard at things you can see, it helps you work hard toward things you can’t. A spirit of endurance is what’s required to make it to the end.

I’m believing in invisible things today because the visible isn’t what I really want it to look like. What I see isn’t what I’d hoped for, and discourages more than encourages. So the writer of the heroes chapter tells us at the very beginning that “what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

An invisible spoken word birthed everything I see. Every person. Every tree. Every sunbeam.

invisible

There on the road I pass every day sunbeams peeked through shadowy trees. Bayou behind it, sunbeams filtering through. Pass too fast, and you’ll fail to see. Pause for a while, and you see glimpses of light shimmering through black-as-night branches.

But what of all the sun we simply cannot see? The sun beaming on places all over the world even as it splays its light on our land, our loves, our lives. My murky Louisiana light along bayous can’t be seen in Boston, even though it’s daylight there, too.

So I think, maybe there’s more sun we cannot see than sun we can.

So maybe even the sun reminds me to look to the invisible more than the visible. It’s the things I can’t see that matter most around me. Change the air just a little bit and I’ll no longer be able to breathe. If my heart malfunctions, I’ll never see it to know, but my body will stop working.

So maybe this life is about our one moment of visibility that started in the invisible and ends in the invisible. There’s much more worth in the invisible than there will ever be in the visible. I’ve needed to remind myself of that today. I’ll probably have to remind myself again, tomorrow. I’m so blinded by the visible things because I keep turning my face toward the things I’m hoping to see instead of the One in whom my hope is secure.

Tonight, we celebrated the unseen at a dinner for two friends having babies. I saw the presents, the packages, the diapers. But we all knew that what we saw doesn’t hold a candle to the babies being born in the upcoming weeks.

Unseen trumps the seen. Again.

So the faith chapter says Moses held on, enduring as one who sees Him who is invisible. So I hold on to invisible things, knowing well the One who spoke all these things into existence.

And in the midst of my here and now, finding faith to believe in changes that I cannot yet see. Believing that a prayer shared with a friend over the phone changes things. Believing that a heart that seems so distant will be near again. Believing that continued faithfulness merits a type of endurance as I fix my eyes on all things unseen.

So the paperwork and mindless numbers and alphabets will continue tomorrow. It’s all I’ll be able to see. The screen in front of me won’t speak of eternity. But I tell my heart to sing of things unseen, the soft call of eternity in the obviousness of ordinary life. Speaking words of life, whispering prayers that stretch on from here to forever. Believing that what He says is true, and holding tight to His promises.

 


Comments

  1. I don’t believe God wants us to know everything or how many we touch or who we touch. It could be as simple as a kind word to a cashier or not getting angry when your child breaks your favorite cup. It could be a smile at someone who hasn’t seen a smile for a long time. We want to do the big things when God works in the little things. We cannot all be Moses or King David or Esthers, but we can make a difference in our own little corner of the world. One day you will know who all you helped into the kingdom. I just want to keep doing the small things and let God make them huge.

  2. Thanks for sharing! He’s so present in every small thing:)

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