Last week I was in Atlanta live tweeting and Instagramming the Catalyst Leadership Conference for work. I got to hear from the gals at If: Gathering, Louie and Shelley Giglio, Andy Stanley, Brene Brown, the guy who founded Warby Parker, the guy who founded Charity Water, one of the leading photographers of our era, and David Crowder played a few songs. And somehow I got paid to do it. Not a bad way to spend a week.
Listening to leaders speak for three days straight is enough to make my type-A head explode. Do more of this… you could be GREAT if only you would sacrifice more… think bigger… be more… do less… let God…
How do all of these things apply to little old me? Doing MORE is never much of a struggle for me. I can do, do, do around the clock until I wind myself up into a ball of stress, unable to sit because there is one more thing to do. One more thing to create. One more task at hand. One more item to check off my list. One more obligation. One more good thing. One more… one more… one more…
So what is the next great thing God has for me? Does He want me to do something GREAT by the world’s standards? Does he want me to be famous, standing on a stage someday using my gifts for His glory? The crazy thing is, right now I feel like He is telling me that it’s not about being great – it’s about being a great servant. That He doesn’t care one bit if I’m famous – that it’s okay to be behind the scenes. That He can use my gifts at my job and in the one-on-one interactions I have on a daily basis.
I feel like lately God has been teaching me that when I do less – when I create more margin in my life – then I am available to love others better. When I have a stack of frozen casseroles in my freezer, I am better able to help someone out in a pinch who needs to experience God’s love. When I have free time built into my schedule, I can drop everything and help out in a crisis. When I have a free night in my calendar, I can host people in our home for dinner and show them love – just regular, old-fashioned LOVE with no agenda and no strings attached.
God is teaching me hospitality. And rest. The two go hand-in-hand for me, because when I’m rested, when I have MARGIN, when I have a free moment, I’m better able to give love – and my time – to others.
So while my head is spinning as I think through all the ways I could use my gifts for BIG THINGS for the Kingdom, between you and me, right now God is telling me to go small. Really small. And loose, and free, and quiet. To go behind the scenes and just love and make people feel safe and encouraged and welcomed.