What “Arriving” Really Looks Like


She cries and tells me that God has called her to so much more and everyday is a disappointment.

I tell her sometimes our “more” is small, and yet our obedience in the small and the mundane is huge, praiseworthy even.

She says she’s wasting her talents and her gifts punching a clock and I wonder if she sees the woman in the next cubicle holding an unreadable, white piece of paper with a prescription for antidepressants thinking she should be strong enough to shoulder the verbal abuse she has to swallow everyday.

But, she’s too busy dreaming of the big to see the plastic smile or notice the bruise that wasn’t there yesterday on the woman punching the same clock, sitting in the same cookie cutter cubicle next to her.

The bruised woman would give anything to no longer feel small and we would be better served if we could embrace the small and let our circle of influence land in the place it’s supposed to be.

She rattles off a list of things that seem more worthy of her time and talent. And, I want to tell her to get over herself and tell her to focus on being nicer to the people who have to live with her.

But, I’ve dreamt the same ridiculous, self-absorbed dreams. I’ve been twenty-something and disappointed by what the “call of God” looked like and how it caused all my insecurities to rise to the surface so that I could figure out that living life slightly broken brought out the very best things inside of me.

You want to do real ministry?

Crave the unglamorous life and forgo any ideas of being a bigger deal than you are right now. Worry less about sharpening your talent to embrace the power of availability in whatever unsatisfying season that you find yourself in.

Because our very best talent is better spent on loving people well and giving them more than two minutes to figure out another way to say and live the fraud of “I’m fine.”

I know you want to do big things and say things that matter, and I believe this comes from a sincere place of wanting to make a mark on this world. I feel it, too.

But, perhaps we are missing it and the ones who need God to make a mark on our hearts and remind us what really matters.

Maybe we could learn how to be better at being the least of these and dwell in the back-of-the-line kind of servanthood that doesn’t require names in lights or in print, just dirty hands.

Maybe we could be better at being small and allowing our hearts to rip wide open for the lost and lose some sleep for the single mom who sits next to us eating smaller portions so her children can have more. Her hunger runs deeper than three square meals a day and so does ours.

Our “more” is to hunger and thirst for righteousness and to go into our smallish parts of the world to shine the light of Christ instead of the light of self.

Because this is what “more” really looks like and living this way is huge and significant and satisfying.

People always ask me what being in ministry is really like.

Sometimes it looks like clutching an unreadable, white piece of paper wondering if I should be strong enough to shoulder this load I carry.

Sometimes it looks like trying to figure out another way to say and live the fraud of “I’m fine.” Then realizing that I don’t have to fake it or find another way to be self-sufficient because the great “I am” knows all the things that I am not and what I need to do what he has called me to do.

It looks like living life slightly broken so I can recognize the pain of others because it’s mirrored my own.

So, if you are feeling small and insignificant, good job- because this is what “arriving” really looks like.

Your small things are huge.

What you do really matters.

And, what we become in this messy process is what we will be most proud of.

Here with you in the small,