When a Small Fish Learns a Big Lesson

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For several years I’ve picked a One Word to focus on in January. For 2015, my word was small.

Last January, I wrote these words.

Small.
I need the small because I need the lessons.
This year, I want to look for and embrace the small. I want to look for the gifts tucked away in the moments, those small gifts we often overlook because our eyes are forever wandering off the path looking for something bigger.
Maybe all the little roads are in fact the big roads. Major highways in disguise.
You can read the entire post HERE.

And, in my mid-year reflection, I shared with you two small, beautiful updates.
You can read the mid-year reflection HERE

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”    Margaret Mead

This quote has been popping into my brain quite often over the last couple of months. And, when it does, my first thought is always the disciples. I think about how, as far we know, none of these men had any training on how to mobilize  large groups of people.  Peter, Andrew, James, and John were fisherman…so, they might have been known for mobilizing large schools of fish, but not people. Matthew was a tax collector. And back in Jesus’ day the Pharisees lumped tax collectors in the same category as sinners. Respectable people did not follow them and they certainly didn’t sit at a table and eat a meal with them. (Matthew 9: 9-13)

No, Jesus didn’t call these folks because of their ability to influence others, He called them because he caught a glimpse of their heart. In God’s upside down, crazy world, a man’s heart is much more important than a resume.  I also believe that God has an incredible track record of taking small mustard seeds and growing beautiful gardens. He specializes in using folks that the rest of the world is quick to label unusable or unskillful.

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For the last month I’ve been partnering with a lady from Trades of Hope and trying to meet the crowdsourcing threshold in order to bring the movie Poverty Inc to a theater in Chattanooga on Dec 1.  It’s a fantastic, thought-provoking movie on the poverty industry. It challenges us to look at the ways we help. It challenges us to look for (possibly) more productive approaches in helping.

The deadline to meet the threshold of tickets is Nov 24.  Whether I meet this threshold or not, I am learning some valuable small/big lessons from this experience.

  • Getting an idea and a passion to spread if you are a small fish in a big pond is much harder than I thought it would be.  Much harder.
  • I can’t assume an idea that fires me up will necessarily fire those around me up too. (Even though I’m fairly certain people would be fired up once they saw the movie. 🙂 )
  • And the most important lesson this recovering perfectionist must learn again and again:  I am not a failure if I don’t succeed at meeting the threshold. For years, I feared stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things. I feared taking a risk. For years, I allowed fear to dictate my movements.  For years, I was guilty of staying in the boat when Jesus was asking me to walk on the water.

Truth I know today:  I  fail only when I stay in my comfort zone during times when God has clearly asked me to move.  

Question:  Is God asking you to leave your boat, in some area of your life, even if there’s a risk of sinking?

2 thoughts on “When a Small Fish Learns a Big Lesson

    1. Eileen Post author

      I’m glad to hear that Angie. I need to hear them too…that’s why I write them. Helps me process life. So glad our paths have crossed!

      Reply

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