Finding Ministry in the Ordinary
I walk into the preschool classroom, groggy and dazed. I am practically willing the caffeine to go coursing through my veins so I can open my eyes. In my humble and unwanted opinion, 8:30 a.m. is way too early for any human to do more than lift a coffee cup. But, my opinion means little when it comes to a work schedule, so I must learn to be happy, energetic, and alert at 8:30 a.m., because there is nothing like taking care of a classroom full of four-year-olds to get you going in the morning.
My day continues according to a routine schedule, and I love every minute of it. There are moments my nerves are wound tight, ready to snap, and there are moments a small hand touches my arm and my heart softens. There are moments I think I may go insane if I hear one more high-pitched “Teacher!” and there are moments I stop, breathe, and take a mental snapshot of the red-cheeked faces looking up at me.
[pullquote width="300" float="left"]"Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." - Mother Teresa[/pullquote]
I am the lunch-box-opening ninja, the storytelling extraordinaire, the naptime tyrant, and the potty break sergeant. I am the recess time tickle monster, the awarder of skittles, and the queen of boo boo kissing. By the end of the day, I don't feel exhausted or beat-down. I am tired, but the type of tired one feels after accomplishing something great. The tired that is not defeat, but rather success.
I do not do anything epic. I am not leaving giant footprints in this world. Some people save lives. Some write bestselling books. Some people have a large ministry that impacts thousands. Others travel near and far to spread the Gospel. I do not do any of those things, but I am leaving valuable footprints nonetheless. Mine may not be visible, but they are seen by the Creator of footprints. That is all that matters.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. -Ephesians 4:11-12
It has taken me awhile, but this past year I finally began to grasp that I do not have to leave giant footprints to be worth something. Not all of us are called to do epic things. Some of us are called to every day things. Some of us are called to bag groceries. Some of us are called to make coffee. Some of us are called to be preschool teachers.
Being ordinary does not mean being insignificant.
Every calling is of importance. Each person is doing the work of the kingdom, be it great or small. Some may hold more prominence in this life, but in the eyes of our King, they are all of equal importance.
“...the work of monks and priests, however holy and arduous they may be, does not differ one whit in the sight of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or the woman going about her household tasks, but that all works are measured before God by faith alone...” -Martin Luther
He has called me to be a preschool teacher and a college student at this time in my life. Although I'm not making a visible, crashing impact on the world, He has called me to this for a reason. I may only impact one, two, or maybe three people. But what a blessing if God uses me to bless even that many!
I am not here to gain admiration around the world, but rather to spread the glory of my Father.
This seemingly ordinary task before me becomes of colossal importance because it is God who has placed it there. He has called me to it, so I will accomplish it with every ounce of energy I have.
For it is God who works in your both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing. -Philippians 2:13-14
I will worship and serve Him through the lunch-box-opening, the coloring, and the kissing of boo boos. I will worship Him through my studying, my paper writing, and my never-ending reading. I am not making footprints visible to the world, but I am doing what my King and Father has asked me to. That is more than enough for me.
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