"Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others."
1 Thessalonians 4: 11-12
Words leap off the page. I read again: Aim for a quiet life. Mind your own business. Work with your hands.
Why had I never noticed them before?
The words are balm to my soul, healing wounds, releasing expectations, bringing reassurance. Live a quiet life.
My quiet life can bring glory.
More than that, my quiet life can be my offering, my worship. Hours spent washing dishes, sweeping floors, scrubbing the bathtub, these everyday acts of service offer themselves up as worship.
My life may not be grand, my service may not seem to be much, but this simple quiet life is enough. It is enough. I'm not caring for sick children overseas, but I spent last night caring for my sick three year old. I'm not building houses, but I am building a home right here. I'm not spreading the Good News to the ends of earth, but I am whispering it into the hearts of my precious little boys. I'm not doing great things...but these unexpected words tell me that maybe I am.
For what does God require of me? Simply that I act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God, that I love God with everything and my neighbour as myself.
I feel the weight of expectations begin to lift. The pressure to do "big things for God!", the call to live radically, the encouragement to do more, be more, take on more. But this Christian life does not have to be complex. I need not make it bigger than it is. A quiet life, a simple life, one of love and service - this is a good offering, a pleasing offering.
Perhaps it is, in its own way, radical. To simply love, simply serve.
The more I come to know Jesus, the more I find it true that His yoke is indeed easy; His burden is indeed light. Only Jesus - a quiet journey of coming to know Him, free from all the man-made trappings of religion and Christian culture in all of its various manifestations. Daily I fall deeper in love with Him, learning to die to self and take up the cross instead.
Today, soothed by the unexpected and joyous Word, I will take joy in this quiet life.