ON HIS BLINDNESS
WHEN I consider how my light is spent
|E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,|
|And that one Talent which is death to hide,|
|Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent|
|To serve therewith my Maker, and present||5|
|My true account, least he returning chide,|
|Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,|
|I fondly ask; But patience to prevent|
|That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need|
|Either man's work or his own gifts, who best||10|
|Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State|
|Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed|
|And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:|
|They also serve who only stand and waite.|
I've meditated, too, on two particular Bl Teresa of Kolkatta quotes.
"Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand."
"We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love."
See, I've been praying and praying and praying, running circles in my head thinking about my various aspirations in life. I tend to do that frequently anyway, but the tendency to overthink really goes into overdrive around New Years. I think about what I've done, what I've failed to do. What I've yet to do. And what's really important in all this, anyway?
The truth is, I've softened when it comes to so many of my ambitions over the last five years. I wanted to be a lawyer! I wanted to work hard and reap the fruits of my labor, I wanted to give myself wholly to my career. I never had any wish to marry or have children. I feel a bit woozy thinking about how God's hand spun my ambition around and turned it on its head. I, who wanted the drama and glamour of post[ing] o're Land and Ocean without rest, was given a different lot.
It's been a tough lesson, because I've spent at least the past two years supporting my husband's medical school endeavors and wondering "when will we put MY career goals first?" Without realizing that that was the wrong question altogether. Then I had a baby and still wondered. When, God? Researching graduate school prerequisites and curricula had become a part time obsession. Dreaming of marching into the classroom again, neat little rows of pens and pencils and my favorite notebooks at hand, our toy-strewn home left behind for the sake of my lofty educational goals.
This New Years, he finally whispered in the words of Milton. They also serve who stand and wait.
Ah! ...Stand.... Wait. That doesn't sound very ambitious.
Maybe it's not. Maybe it looks a lot like reading the same books to Margot over and over again. Maybe it looks like being unnaturally proud of myself for keeping our monthly grocery budget at a tightwad level of low. Maybe it looks like talking on the phone for hours with my mom, who recently told me I'm one of her best friends. Maybe it looks like more or less constant imperfect prayer, squeezed into the day. Saying, "Lord, have mercy" when my dear sweet baby refuses to sleep again. Baking bread, going on long walks, washing the dishes. Writing this post. Maybe it looks like forgetting about the earthly ambition stuff. Like relinquishing control.
This year, I'm resolved to do that. The small things I do matter, as much as they do look like standing and waiting to the outside world. There is so much I want to do in this lifetime, and I'll never not be jealous of Brendan's call to GO! and DO! and be a doctor as well as a husband and father. I struggle with wondering if perhaps God is holding out on me and I have some super awesome mission to fulfill here. But this year, He has finally succeeded in knocking it into my stubborn head that this season is about nothing more and nothing less than Love. Which is super awesome in and of itself, when I stop and think about it.
The rest of the story hasn't been written yet, but I trust in Him. I do. And even if I never do fulfill any super impressive God ordained mission to save the world's orphans or whatever... I have my mission. Right here. Bouncing around in my lap, screaming for a nap, and generally driving me equal parts love sick and batty.
Margot Jane, 11 months old. She's grown a bit since I last posted, eh? ;)