Faith: Simple things
I want to compose profound and moving words to inspire others to trust God and follow Jesus. Maybe God just wants me to read to my kids, change diapers and write lame columns. I want to do big and important things. God just wants me to be faithful where He has placed me.
It’s Monday morning and my day off. I’ve procrastinated writing this column until today, so I’m sitting in my living room with pen and paper in hand hoping for some peace and quiet.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in having a large family it is that there is never quiet. There are endless distractions and disruptions. I’ve had to learn how to read, write and pray in the middle of noise and busyness, so now I need to focus because the deadline is noon.
My oldest daughter just came in and asked if I could drive her to the bakery so she could buy everyone doughnuts for breakfast. I love doughnuts, so off we go. Thirty minutes and two doughnuts later I’m back to writing.
My 5-year-old comes over to me. “Hey, Daddy. Why did the cow cross the road?”
“I don’t know.”
“To get to the moooovies! Get it, Daddy?” she says with a grin, proud of her clever word play.
“Hold on? Cows go to movies? I’ve never seen a cow go to a theater,” I say with a look of confusion.
She then tries to explain to me why the joke is funny. Listening to a 5-year-old explain humor is endlessly entertaining.
OK. Focus. Back to writing.
My 2-year-old brings me a pile of books and climbs up on my lap with his giant smile. Who could resist that? We read about raccoons and police officers. He sneaks a sip of my coffee when his mom wasn’t looking.
Soon our two younger daughters come over and join us on the couch. We read some more. My 7-year-old is going to play with a friend this afternoon. She tells me this fact about every five minutes because she is so excited.
Meanwhile the morning is slipping away, and my notepad is mostly blank.
My wife has been working all morning with our older girls on their schoolwork. She asks me how the column is coming.
I say, “Well, it’s pretty lame. I’m just writing down notes about all of my interruptions this morning.”
My 10-year-old overhears this and says, “You need to write something in there about how amazing your 10-year-old is because she hasn’t interrupted you once.”
I love her sense of irony. I wonder where she gets that from.
“You just interrupted me,” I say. “It looks like you just made the article.”
Only one hour until my deadline, and my whole morning has wasted away with distractions, and I still don’t have any inspirational thoughts for this column.
Wait, wasted away?
Maybe that is my problem. I want to compose profound and moving words to inspire others to trust God and follow Jesus. Maybe God just wants me to read to my kids, change diapers and write lame columns.
I want to do big and important things. God just wants me to be faithful where He has placed me.
How often do we spend our time dreaming about a better life or making grandiose future plans that we miss the small things God has called us to do today?
Mother Teresa once said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
I can’t fix this world, but I could grow to be more faithful as a husband, father, pastor and friend. Perhaps this is how I’m called to change the world, at least the small corner that I inhabit.
“Daddy, it’s only 10 more minutes until I get to go to my friends house!” she says again bouncing up and down trying to contain her exuberance.
“Yeah, I almost forgot since you told me five minutes ago.”
Tristan Borland is pastor at Riverview Church in Pine River.