It’s Friday again, y’all…somehow, we made it through this week of sleep deprivation and sick kids and all the mess that goes along with that. It seems like a great day to celebrate with Five-Minute Friday and a little bit of free writing, don’t you think? The rules are simple: write for five minutes without overediting or backtracking, then share your words with us at Kate Motaung’s blog. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your post there in the comments. Then stick around to encourage your neighbor (the person who posted right before you). It’s a great community. If you’d like to join in the fun, today’s prompt is WORLD.
Sometimes, my world is so small I can span it with my hands…the grip of a baby who’s unsure about the big bathtub for the first time, or the sweaty head of a child who needs comfort during a long night. Sometimes, I can pace it off with my steps…the border of the garden bed we’re planting together, or the length of the clothesline where the wet sheets flap in the wind. Sometimes, it’s the well-worn road between our home and a friend’s, where we go to share a meal or to escape our house for a while when we just need to hang out with someone else. And sometimes, it’s measured in the thousands of miles between here and my sister’s, as we carefully arrange Facetime dates so we can see each other’s babies while they’re both awake.
Having stood and watched lava flowing from Mauna Kea into the ocean, having snowshoed across the tundra in Alaska, having gazed up at the gargoyles of cathedrals and down at the city streets from the top of the Eiffel Tower, the smallness of my life can feel frustratingly claustrophobic. What happened to the fresh-minted college graduate who was going to change the world? She wanted so badly to be someone. Was she swallowed up by the endless loads of laundry? Is she so busy reading picture books and looking for grasshoppers that she can’t banter easily at dinner time about current events?
Sometimes what I have to contribute to the conversation is a litany of the tiniest details of the most ordinary days in a very small world.
The size of something, though, doesn’t define its significance. The God of the universe is the God of microscopic organisms, too, and He who packed whole worlds into single drops of water sees me and my smallness. He calls me back to it again and again, the way my children call me to push them on the swings. What I am doing here matters.
The world spins on, whether I read and digest and debate and engage it or not. It does not need my help. But here, right in front of me, this little world needs help to keep turning on its axis, and I’m the best one for the job. Maybe I’m not somebody these days. To a handful of people, though, I’m the world.
A time will come when I can focus more of my energy outward, when I can take a more active role in what happens out there (and guide my children to do the same). For today, though, there’s a humbler part for me to take, a small but important role involving cheese sandwiches and a picnic in the backyard. For me, for now, it’s the better part.
For more Five-Minute Friday, head over to Kate’s blog, heading home.