Five Lessons Life Has Taught Me

I have written before about the dynamic in which new ideas are first vehemently rejected, and then later repeated back to the originator as if they are received wisdom. Words and ideas have incredible staying power, which is why dictators of all stripes have always sought to repress freedom of expression. God chose to tell us about Himself through the medium of words. It cannot be overstated that we have the opportunity and the obligation to speak as if our words will be remembered—because they will be.

5) You can be too big for God to use, but you cannot be too small. This aphorism was reportedly written by Nelle Reagan, Ronald Reagan's mother, inside the cover of her Bible. It captures the themes of a lifetime of sermons and study plans in fifteen simple words. I've found that it has a subtle implication beyond the obvious one: it reminds us to leave our perceived "size" before our fellow men in the hands of God. Our minds tend to resist reassurance on this, but the peace that comes from not worrying about it is priceless.

I'm not sure we really "get" that God's purpose isn't for us to be small; His purpose is for us to not worry about it. It truly is just that: to cultivate a trusting condition in our hearts. If I were to offer a sixth lesson in this column, it would be this: God's great project is not transforming our world; it's transforming each of us.

4/22/2012 4:00:00 AM
J. E. Dyer
About J. E. Dyer
J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval intelligence officer and evangelical Christian. She retired in 2004 and blogs from the Inland Empire of southern California. She writes for Commentary's CONTENTIONS blog, Hot Air's Green Room, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.