A Lifetime of Little, Everyday Moments
*This is the second post in a series from Skipper Reneau. Read more of his thoughts at michaelreneau.com.
Don’t live for the big moments.
I think those of us who are inclined to take on responsibility like this heap pressure on ourselves to do “big” things — whatever that means. For me, that means writing a genuine literary classic or winning a Pulitzer. Yet the more time goes on, the more I learn the most formative tasks — for me and for those around me — come in the “little” moments: when the kids need food, so we feed them; when we need more income, so we work a bit more on the side; when our toddler needs to be disciplined, so we do it with love; when my wife needs a break, so I take her out.
It’s in these moments my own character/obedience is formed. But more importantly, it’s in these “mundane,” routine moments in which the character of my boys is most forged, and in which my wife can be most loved. A lifetime of these moments is how cultures are formed and societies are transformed. God gives some of us those “big” moments — maybe one day I’ll write that book. But all of us have these so-called “little” moments, and these are the threads weaved together to form a life, well-lived or not. Get over the big stuff. Get over yourself. Live those big moments well if you have them, but you’re called to something bigger: a lifetime of little, everyday moments.
It sounds clichéd, but that’s because clichés usually come from the truth: I’m convinced no earthly reward compares to the satisfaction of putting my boys to bed each night, my wife at my side, knowing they can rest soundly and fully. My family gives me unspeakable joy, a joy that comes from knowing this is what I was made to do. No professional high I achieved, no glory I earned while playing baseball growing up, no vacation I’ve taken, no cash windfall I’ve received, compares to this. Conversely, no job, accomplishment, or responsibility is harder on the hard days. Family offers such joy because it is the most tangible picture of the Gospel; the love I have for my boys and my wife is but a whisper of the love God has for us.