As a child, in one of those moments remembered in each detail, and deeply sensing God, I promised with my life to do great things for God. When a bit older, someone taunted me about my promise: “You’re just a kid. What can you do?” Tearfully but determinedly I responded, “I don’t know yet, but when I am a grown up I am going to do great things for God!”
This promise has surfaced repeatedly in various phases of my life. Yet it seems each time I would step more into the temporal world, there would be hardships causing me to not physically progress in what I thought would be very good. One time I even said to God, “If you would heal me, I could do so much more for You!” He replied, ‘That was a sweet but childish idea. If you were healed, you would be too easily drawn back out into the world.”
Of course, not everyone is called by God to be a hermit, but everyone is called by God to be contemplative, prayerful, loving–and to do God’s will. And in this call, we are called to greatness–to do great things…for God.
Some may have thought that it is humble to just do little things. No, humility is not little; it is the queen of virtues, the threshold of faith. Humility means to know ourselves in relationship to God. We recognize that God is the All to our nothingness, the source and power and reason to our essence and being. This requires on our part learning to shift perspective, to view from within to without, and to see that God Is.
Recently that childhood promise surfaced once again, and there was a sense of uncertainty and failure, that I had not done great things for God. Yes, I had tried numerous ways and means, but it seemed whenever I made ground, my wings would be clipped, so to speak. So I had to confront just exactly what constitutes great things compared to great things for God. Again, it has to do with perspective–not mine–but God’s view.
Then and only then, did I understand. Doing great things for God is doing anything, everything, even sometimes seemingly nothing–but doing it greatly for God. Doing, thinking, feeling, sensing, weeping, praising, praying, playing: all that we think and do and say are great things when done for God because God is great. God gives us great graces, and thus all we do for God are great things indeed! He is all greatness and gives us all to give and do great things. Even suffering poorly is a great thing to do for God if it is the best we can manage in that present moment.
How beautifully uplifting to know that all along I have been fulfilling that promise made long ago, to do great things for God. Even knowing that I did not know for much of my life amidst trials and mishaps, poor choices and prayerful ones, that His greatness was filling me with all I needed to do all things greatly for God. Everyone can and does do great things for God. He expects this of us, for God is great and all greatness.
The other day while gathering Japanese Maple leaves from the hermitage gardens, to press in the pages of a book, to later use for note cards to mail and share, I realized anew just how great it is to be doing even this small task, and how great it is for God. To breathe, to think, to speak, to sing, to smile, to sleep–all are great things done for God!
Keeping a promise, as God makes it possible for us to keep, is a great thing for God.