I wrote an essay my junior year of high school that changed my life. I wouldn’t say it’s the most profound thing I’ve ever written, but the review I got from a college essay critic changed everything about me. They wrote something like, “I have been a teacher for so-and-so years, and I have never read an essay as good as this. Your faith is inspiring!” I have no idea who it was that read my essay. I know my teacher at the time read it too, but she wasn’t the one who wrote that life-changing message.
Whoever it was, they sent me on a journey to change lives with words.
In my head, even if I’ve never said it out loud, I’ve always wanted to be the world-changer. Move mountains. Soften hearts. Find common ground where there seemed to be none, and reach people who needed to be reached. I often find myself ignoring my own field right in front of my eyes, too busy consumed with the idea of what lies far beyond it.
Dreaming big does mean looking ahead, beyond, and sometimes farther than others. But being caught up in the idea of a dream, the magnitude it could become, the what-if’s, and the future of it send our eyes away from the real focus, the real foundation.
Within the past few months, I’ve sought out intention. I’ve sought out God and His life-giving call, gifts, and purpose He’s placed on me. In doing that, I’ve been pulled to the earth, gripped by mission field after mission field of life and purpose right here. Little old me. Just here. Not out there, intertwining words all over the world.
Sometimes we complain about the church we go to, that it’s too this or not enough that. We feel misplaced in life, as though purpose has passed us by, not giving us a second glance. We think that circumstances of life are preventing us from being ourselves. Or that our valleys are too deep for us to really see truth. Or that mountaintops are far too high for us to be brought back to why we’re really here. Clouded perspectives and truths block us from believing that we are actually valuable enough to be called valuable.
Little old me.
It took me a little while to be pulled back to what’s really right here.
I came across a photo over the weekend of someone else’s son being baptized. A six-year-old boy. And it hit me like the world had been shoved into my gut: this could be one of my boys. They could be baptized, if they choose Jesus. I could be singing Hallelujah! and Amen! soon enough, if I just keep on toward the prize. Mission field after mission field. They’re like fields of wildflowers all around me.
Don’t think that little old you needs a big old world to be something. Sometimes the sky-high dream you have means coming back to earth for a time, seek out God, find Him in what you think is so ordinary about your life. He isn’t going to keep His good work hidden from you. Ask Him to speak. Ask Him to give you the mission fields. Let them spread like wildflowers, and friend, walk in them. Stay low to the ground and let your hands feel the grass as it sways in the wind. Flying high doesn’t always mean watching the world from the sky. You might miss the beauty of the flowers.