“You aspire to great things? Begin with little ones.” Saint Augustine. I long to do great things. I long for a completely clean house. I long for an accomplished family life with exemplary children. I long for recognition. At the core, we seek grandiose things. Yet, God calls us to small things.
As a mom, we know that we’re called to small things. There’s no other way. I chop vegetables and gather them to place in the crockpot, while simultaneously loading the dishwasher and chatting with my daughter. In the background I hear a glass break and “mommy I need help.” It’s easy to call this chaos (in many ways it is), yet I call it “gift”.
I grab the broom and hand it to my son, “let’s clean up the broken glass.” I’m not angry at him-it’s just a glass, I know. Yet it’s so easy to get caught up in the “dailiness” of it all. We forget what’s important. We forget the little things matter most. Loading the crockpot and the dishwasher, pausing to chat with my daughter, and patiently cleaning up glass often feels like not much is done. The house is not perfectly clean. Yet, is that what I should aspire to? It’s easy to overlook how God is using me in these small ways. It’s easy to get frustrated. It’s easy to assume I’m called to more.
Little things do build to great things one day. I’m reminded of the famous quote by St. Therese of Lisieux, “remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love.” Some days are easier than others. Yet, when we aspire to small things those small things build into great things one day. Those great things will look different for all of us, yet we can be assured God is walking with us step by step as we endeavor to put one foot in front of the other. Great accomplishment begins in tiny ways.