Supposedly, I have a decent IQ which is why I wonder why it is the simple truths that seem to take me so long to really "get." I am doing this 40 Day Character Makeover. It has been interesting yet painful, too.
One thing that I was feeling so much of was guilt - guilt for not doing more or getting started in the morning sooner or excercising the way I should or, well, you fill in the blank. I spent many if not most days, totally wound up about what I WASN'T doing even as I was tackling some other task.
It was about a week before Thanksgiving when I was frantically scurrying around the house cleaning and feeling guilty because I wasn't writing that it was like God smacked me upside the head. Why in the world was I feeling guilty for cleaning my house? Then later the same day, I was packing my son's lunch and it struck me with full force that THIS was a ministry. This was important. Packing a lunch is a somewhat humble and certainly mundane task. But what if I didn't?
I kind of had this idea that all the things around the house like cleaning or packing lunches or making dinner were necessary evils - like I needed to get through them as quickly as possible to get on to my "real" calling which is writing. But God stopped me in my tracks as I spread peanut butter on a slice of wheat bread. THIS was ministry, too. Making our home clean and inviting; spending the time to give my kids good, nutritious lunches and maybe sending an encouraging note along - those things were just as important. They were the little things but they mattered. God was counting the little things too, not just the big or showy.
In a bigger way, I realized that a lot of my life has been controlled by false guilt - this sense that I was never doing enough and certainly not doing it fast enough. I tend to be a slow person. Nobody will ever accuse me of being an energizer bunny or being a whirlwind of activity. But guess what? That's okay. Everybody doesn't have to move at the speed of light. I don't have to live my life in a hurry to get to the next thing, so much so, that I am missing out on the present.
Since then, I spend an extra 10 minutes to prepare my kids' lunches. I include a note with a Scripture or just to say I am thinking about them and have prayed for them. I put on praise music when I clean the house. I don't know that I will ever enjoy cleaning, but now I don't see it as something to whiz through as quickly as possible or an interruption in more important things - I see it as a way to serve my family. To serve and to minister doesn't mean everything has to be something "big". It really is the little things that make all the difference.
"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for man, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." Colossians 3:23