I spent some time this week thinking on a devotion published on Jan 8 in Our Daily Bread. The devotion talks about the hidden life, one filled with ordinary deeds and simple forms of human helpfulness. Today, many believers want to do the BIG things for God: go on a mission's trip, raise money, write books, become influential in Christian realms, but throughout history, most believers will spend their lifetime doing the ordinary things: caring for their families, praying for those with needs, and listening to their hurting friends. The Lord needs a lot more "ordinary" opportunities well-met in His name, than He does the BIG, seen-by-the-world opportunities.
"Every act of love rendered for His sake is noted and has eternal consequences. Every place, no matter how small, is holy ground. Influence is more than lofty acts and words. It can be a simple matter of human helpfulness: being present, listening, understanding the need, loving and praying."
As I read that quote, I thought, "Yes, these things are so valuable!" Then I wondered why there was such a hunger for these things today and I believe in part, it's because we're too busy to actually do them often or well.
Being present, listening, understanding the need, loving and praying.
How I would love to be able to do those things better this year. It will take intention, a slowing down, and a change of focus from myself and what I think it "more important" to truly putting others first.
The devotion concluded with "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus," and "do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance." (Col 3:17, 23-24)
How I would love for my family and friends to be able to say I was present, I listened, I understood, I loved and I prayed.