We love those small to big stories, the ones where the janitor goes from singing in the hallways after hours to singing on a stage in front of millions. We love the underdog — Cinderella, Susan Boyle, the East Dillon Lions. But then if they get too big, something happens. We don’t like them as much anymore. We get picky. We criticize. We envy. And the fickle ways of the world show up, even in us.

Embrace the delicate smallness of your humanity. There is no satisfaction to be found in the big the world has to offer. Take time to look within and consider if that is the big you are seeking. If it is, reconsider. And if you begin to make it big in some area of your life, if success climbs up on your back like a rocket propelled pack, it could become more difficult to remember your own smallness. So ask for it. The Lord has gracious ways of keeping you small; humble, gentle ways. If you’re not careful, you could miss them, mistaking them for rejection, misunderstanding, or failure. But these are your gifts, and each jagged stone of pain and discomfort is paving the way for you to walk your path of true joy.

When you see evidence of that joy, follow it. Fight for it. It will not come from thousands of followers or a published book or an Oscar. Because there is always someone with more fans, more books, more Oscars. Instead, the joy comes in broken, quiet ways; ways handed over only to the heart who is willing to receive the gift of small. And here is where your shoulders will begin to relax, where that crease in your forehead will settle, where your soul begins to breathe again. There is rest and comfort to be found when you wrap yourself up in smallness.

Are you familiar with this small place? Are there ways that you both fear it and long for it?