Growing Smaller

Facebook-043  “I realized I probably could have been famous.”

My friend Julie sits across from me at a coffee house table. There isn’t a hint of bitterness, pride, or irony in her gentle voice.

She’s right. She really could have been. I’ve known this woman for more than ten years, and every time I’ve seen her on stage, I have been mesmerized. Her voice is one of the most beautiful I’ve heard, and her stage presence is as graceful as it is vibrant. She is gorgeous, well-spoken, and about as talented as they come. The total package.

Yes, she could have been widely known and celebrated, but she’s not.

She doesn’t want to be.

Because she has found her true calling – teaching preschool.

Julie talks about music, and she smiles. Then she talks about the kids at work, and the smile becomes a glow.

She has exchanged the dreams of a wide stage for the glorious reality of criss-cross-applesauce on the floor. Her fans are tiny and noisy and squirmy.

She has traded the big for the small.

And she has discovered the shocking truth that small doesn’t mean insignificant. It’s actually quite the opposite.

    It’s in the small, in the details, that God shows himself most clearly.

In some ways, in our ministry over the last few years, we’ve had a wide stage. We have served families who work in Ethiopia, Senegal, India, Thailand, Mexico, Germany, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, Ecuador, Guatemala, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines, Russia… Hundreds of missionary families from every corner of the earth, thousands of opportunities to impact lives.

Button    It has been a beautiful, incredible season, and God has shown himself in the details of relationships and moments.

But now we’re moving forward to the smaller. One country, one community, one group of students. We are being called to a narrower focus, trading business trips to Orlando for barefoot soccer in the mud. I am walking away from speaking engagements and writing opportunities, choosing conversations and cups of tea with new friends. Our world is growing smaller, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

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