It’s interesting how my story keeps revolving around a continual thought/truth. While there’s more than one (I’d like to think), one is a thread in the tapestry of this simple art work – called my life. Simple, that is, to God…and maybe to me on good day. A day when it all makes sense, when the labors of prayers, hope, and dreams part the clouds of monotony to say: “Oh, so that’s what He was doing all along.” Well, the thing/thought/truth is: “remember.” Remember what? Remember the little things – that is, remember all the little ways that the supernatural broke through the un-supernatural and opened your eyes. A sunset when I was hopeless, that while I sat in the chilly mountain air I felt the whisper of God say, “Don’t worry my mercy is new in the morning, and I will get you through the night.” The profound revelation of beauty in the tear of your wife as you hold each other through tough times. Those little things that pierce our lives can be an onramp to simplicity, and they will endure as long as we remember. When we learn to see that the small things matter, we see that Jesus saturates our life, and that is something we can share with others: the neighbor, the stranger, the enemy. A. W. Tozer wrote in The Pursuit of God, “Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration. Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.” Frederick Buechner put it (masterfully) another way in his writing The Sacred Journey (1984),
The question is not whether the things that happen to you are chance things or God’s things because, of course, they are both at once. There is no chance thing through which God cannot speak—even the walk from the house to the garage that you have walked ten thousand times before, even the moments when you cannot believe there is a God who speaks at all anywhere. He speaks, I believe, and the words he speaks are incarnate in the flesh and blood of our selves and of our own footsore and sacred journeys. We cannot live our lives constantly looking back, listening back, lest we be turned to pillars of longing and regret, but to live without listening at all is to live deaf to the fullness of the music. Sometimes we avoid listening for fear of what we may hear, sometimes for fear that we may hear nothing at all but the empty rattle of our own feet on the pavement (pg. 77-78).
I found this video profound in remembering little things, and living in them, of a guy named Shane Koyczan (with amazing accompaniment by Hannah Epperson):
Living the moments with purpose and meaning can make every day worth it. No longer are we living in the future: the next vacation, the next season, the next ‘cool’ thing, the next high, next week’s episode of that show we like -or are embarrassed to say we like, or the field where we sware the grass will be greener. Rather, we’re able to see how though the grass is covered up with snow, it’s ok; and not only is it ok, but somehow it’s even beautiful. And it will only last for a moment. Just like our childhood, just like our teenage ambitions, and just like the last moment. We can sit and be in the present moment, a sacramental moment in a sacred journey. Buechner reminds us, “He [God] says he is with us on our journeys. He says he has been with us since each of our journeys began. Listen for him. Listen to the sweet and bitter airs of your present and your past for the sound of him” (pg. 78).