February 25, 2011

The Measure of a Life

His textbooks cover the table, their mere presence exhuming dreams that died hard. I catch myself thinking back on the variations of the big life I imagined - the big career, the big ministry, the big blog.

Sometimes what I have seems so small.

Is my life what I dreamed it would be?

Am I where I thought hoped I'd be?

The map I had for my life is lost. Visions of a big and extraordinary life that once filled my head now vanished, vapors long ascended into the skies.

Sometimes I  find it difficult to accept this small, ordinary life that is mine.

Small and significant battle each other, polar opposites in my mind.

Sometimes I feel like Kathleen Kelly in You've Got Mail , who asked
So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?

My discontent runs wild. I bristle at these words

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
~Psalm 16:5-6

And the ESV note: the song promotes contentment with the arrangements of one's life, seeing them as providentially ordered. (emphasis mine)
I am ashamed of my own laments, my own selfish desires. My sin. I have been too proud to accept the lines that God has placed around my small life, to see that they are for my own good and for His glory. For  His Name is the only one to be glorified. This life is His gift to me. How can I be so callous and ungrateful to wonder why He didn't give me another?

Even the largest, longest life has finite boundaries. Tangible things are counted. Intangibles are measured. Time runs out. Breath stops. Yet the infinite God cannot be measured or bound by time or fully comprehended here. He exceeds all boundaries.

Kathleen Kelly had it backwards, and so have I. My life should remind me of something I read...in the Bible. The men and women hidden in its pages poured out their lives - He poured out His own -  to tell His story.  Few of them had great possessions. Their fame was the notoriety that comes from being labeled as different, radical. They are considered giants of the faith because their small lives made much of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

They are a beautiful inheritance, a great cloud of witnesses. For me. For you.

*edited, from the archives

1 comment:

Lisa notes... said...

I knew this was going to be good, Melissa! We are definitely on the same page with our writings this week. I'm going to link this in the comments of what I wrote Thursday about needing forgiveness. I need reminding of these words over and over.