2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 ~ To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
God wants me to be a bay leaf.
Sounds exciting, right?
Yeah. I’m not so sure about it myself.
I woke up early a few weeks ago, too early to get up. The time of day when I fade in and out of awareness, praying, listening, thinking. On this particular morning, my mind flipped between the things I needed to do before the day ran off and left me and the images that had flooded it for the past few days.
Images of women—old, young, trendy, traditional—women who had gathered in one place to learn, to be renewed, to find new ways to share their message.
Some women had answered life-altering calls. They’d seen a need. They’d decided not to shove it off on someone else. Now, they and their families call new cities in foreign lands home.
I was willing. I would have gone. If He’d called me, I’d have packed my bags and learned a new language, and I’d have gone anywhere. I told Him so. More than once.
I’m still willing. But here I am.
I have a great husband and three cool kids and a new minivan parked in the garage of a nice house in a safe part of the world. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t feel like I’m doing big things for God.
I know, I know. Those three cool kids are the future and the time I spend with them is a daily act of worship.
But I feel so small. So insignificant. And as I lay there that morning, I couldn’t help but wonder why
God hadn’t called me to more?
While I lay there, wondering if maybe I’d missed something along the way, He spoke.
I want you to be a bay leaf.
No, it wasn’t audible, but I heard it and I can assure you that as I have never, ever aspired to be a bay leaf, it was pretty clear to me that this was God’s voice and not my own. Seriously, God? A bay leaf?
I want you to be a bay leaf.
See, I had spent days surrounded by walking, talking oaks of faith. Singing, laughing diamonds of grace. War-torn but still smiling warriors in the fight for the kingdom.
I was trying to think of ways to be big. God asked me to be small.
Do you know what a bay leaf does? It’s that dried leaf your mom or your grandma always added to the chicken broth or the spaghetti sauce or the vegetable soup. Bay leaves help bring other flavors together, the result of which is a richness, a savoriness that is hard to define, but noticeable in its absence.
I’ve been pondering the idea of being a bay leaf for a few weeks.
Not to diminish the sacrifice of those who answer the “flashier” calls, but I think, sometimes, it’s harder to say yes to being small. To going unnoticed. To being content to add that “little something extra” to the lives of those around us without ever being the main event.
So as I continue to dwell with the idea, I’m praying for opportunities to be a bay leaf. For ways to add some richness and depth to the souls I find myself simmering through life with.
What about you? Have you found yourself minimizing the importance of what you do, right now, where you are?
Father, we know your plans are perfect and your methods are beyond our understanding. Help us to rest in Your wisdom. Help us to seek to follow You no matter where you lead us.
photo credit: morguefile, Windows media, Lynn Huggins Blackburn