Hayley James

Big small things

by Hayley James10/10/2015

I’ve been trying to write this post for a while now. I’ve had these thoughts running around in my head but haven’t been able to give them words. Then today I read this and it was like yes, this is it, this is what I’m thinking…

“This week, listening to God and doing what it seemed like he was asking looked a lot like doing nothing, really. I changed plans and bought gifts and said prayers and made a little bed on the couch for my friend who needed a soft place for the night, and the most important thing about this is that there is nothing particularly noble or difficult about anything I did. I did the average things that needed to be done in the lives of the people around me. And I’m in a really good mood about the whole thing, because I think I’m catching on to something that God wanted from me all along.” (Cold Tangerines, Shauna Niequist)

This pretty much sums up my life at present. For right now my listening to God and doing what he wants me to looks a lot like doing nothing, but doing it intentionally. You see I’ve been the busy Christian type. Being a church based youth worker, being an active member of a local church, preaching, serving, leading, encouraging, supporting, and resourcing. Busy professionally and busy personally and busy for God. Always busy. Always wanting to do the big thing for God. The important things. The make a difference to the world things. Then just over a year ago I felt God prodding me into something different. Asking for something more and something less. Challenging me that maybe actually the big things were really the little things. That maybe it was just about how you looked at them.

This last year has been a year of processing and reflection. It’s been a year of learning and unlearning, of slowing down and stepping back. Mostly it’s been a year of friendship, conversation and reading.

And what I’ve come to understand is that this Christian life we live is not about the big things or the great events or the world changing ideas, but actually it’s about the everyday, average things we do in the lives of the people and communities around us. That if our mind-set is focused on Jesus and serving Him in all things, then every small thing we do is a big thing. I’ve come to realise that God doesn’t expect me to be this full on, cutting edge, revolutionary, save the world type. He hasn’t put the pressure on me to be and do more, that’s come from myself. Instead he’s asking me to live authentically, to be intentional with my whole life, in all my actions and conversations. And that I as go about these ‘un-noble, average’ daily activities I can be serving him and serving others and doing exactly what he wants me to be doing. I’ve come to realise this last year that the small things really are the big things and that maybe, just maybe that’s how we will see the world transformed. One small, big thing at a time. Just like Shauna writes I finally feel that I’m catching on to something God’s been wanting from me all along and I’m completely at peace with it. 


Life | Ministry | Motherhood | Youth Work

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