Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The small stuff

The floors and surfaces are covered in small stuff. Little gifts and cards, a lifetime worth of remembrances. This process of packing demands that I not only discover the minutia that has been tucked away, but insists that I do something with it all. Throw it all away? Keep it all and deal with it later? Neither solution is right and there is no blanket law for the entire contents of this house. We have to go through it and find proper places for it all. Business gurus are fond of saying something like, "don't sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff." The fact of the matter is that I want to be faithful in the small stuff as well as the big stuff - it just gets overwhelming some days.

"'Well done, my good servant. Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, you will be given much to take in your charge.'"Luke 19:17

Jesus tells his followers about the reign of God through storytelling or parables. The stories illustrate and point to the truth but are not in themselves the truth. He wants them to understand that each of us has been given gifts and we are expected to use them. We are not useful to God or other humans if we bury our gifts. If we cower in fear of ridicule, discipline or the culture around us, we deny who we are and how God has made us. Some days, every human being wishes they were someone else, with different gifts and with different or no piles of small stuff to sort through and employ. Through God's grace we have been given a myriad of gifts and we are asked to use what we have been given for the good of all.

Today, I want to rejoice in the small stuff. These are symbols of blessings and relationships. They are signs of a loving past and a future wrapped in God's presence. I want to be tender with these memories and the people who have given me the small things, remembering how great their love and care has been for me. And I want to go forward today, knowing that this process of sorting tells a story of God's continuing faithfulness and constancy despite my own moments of fear or reluctance. May God give us all the strength today to face all the tasks ahead with joy, knowing that we have been given much. And believing that God continues to bless us as we use our gifts for the care and sustenance of all the world.

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