Significant Simplicity

This Sunday in our fellowship, the speaker asked us to carefully consider what event from the last week we would choose as our most significant.

I could think of only one… and the fact that it came to mind really surprised me.

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to toss a little boy named Peter on my shoulders and march around the backyard. He chanted “1, 2, 3 – 1, 2, 3” as we tramped in circles around the path. He couldn’t contain his excitement as he enthusiastically pointed out to all of the nannies we passed that he was, in fact, the tallest little boy on the playground.

It was so simple.
His face was painted with unbridled joy; unrestrained happiness. The pure delight in his eyes and the giggles that bubbled over and spilled out were infectious… it meant the world to him to be sitting up that high for those few moments.

It was so significant.
It surprised me because not too long ago, I would have categorized an afternoon spent “playing with the kids” as a “break from work.” Not the most significant thing I’d done all week.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Growing Cathedrals. Or, as one of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa puts it, doing “small things with great love.” I so badly want to actually be the kind of person I talked about in that post. Though it remains an aspiration, I confess that most days I still get caught up in my personal desires to do something grand and significant; something measurably successful.

(Side note: I know that for many of you reading this blog, you may think our daily lives of working where we do seem “grand and significant.” I can assure you that absolutely anything can become mundane, even this. And, I’m certainly not writing this to fish for compliments and reassurance that we’re on the right track.)

It is something that has been on both Jacob’s and my heart so heavily for quite some time. We talk about it a lot… No matter where we go or what we do, we want to be the kind of people who live lives of love. We want that to be our source of significance. We both think that we still have a long ways to go, but it is the direction we want to head.

So, as I was sitting in fellowship yesterday, I was struck by the change that has already happened in my heart. (Jacob’s too; his answer was quite similar.) I hadn’t noticed it before, because like all of humanity, I mostly focus on my failures to measure up to my own standards of success, but when faced with a question that pointed, I realized that a new seed is starting to take root in our hearts and souls. We have a long ways to go, but I’m thankful to see some growth.

It was such an encouragement to me… And I hope we can all unashamedly grow into the kind of people who see the simplest acts of love and kindness as the most significant things we do.


3 thoughts on “Significant Simplicity

  1. I bet you would be amazed to find out exactly how significant many of your “simple” acts are. This new seed has shed a new light on the significance of shoulder rides and playing with children…but the kids have been seeing those acts as significant for a long time now! And I KNOW you've had the same effects on adults once or twice, at least. 🙂 It's exciting to see this heart transformation taking place…I can't wait to see how God uses the two of you to spread His love in the future!!!

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  2. Oh Carrie, Way to embrace the moment and realize how seemingly insignificant events are huge. You are unknowingly creating clarity for me (and I suspect many others who read) as I search for how God intends to use me for the good of orphans in this world!

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  3. LOVE THIS POST! And I love the question that was asked. I asked myself that question. Good soul searching stuff. Then I asked husband. Note to self: don't ask husband soul searching question after he's had a manic monday at work. 😉 He said his brain was too tired! I could relate, amen? 😉

    Today on the Christian radio station I heard a speaker say she always wears a bracelet that says 'don't forget to play today'. LOVE THAT!

    Carrie, you are a blessing! Thanks for writing!

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