Some of you may be familiar with the "mustard seed" story. You know, the one from the bible. Don't worry - this isn't going to be a sermon - you don't have to stop reading the blog.
I've grown up hearing that story. Perhaps you have too. But I have to admit that I never really "got it". Faith the size of a mustard seed ... what is that?
I always thought you needed to be so "together". And if you weren't ... well, then, I guess you didn't have enough faith. If you had doubts or were unsure. If you weren't doing your best or couldn't figure out what to do next. If you shook your head in defeat or sat sobbing not even sure why. You did these things because you didn't have what it took ... you didn't have enough faith. (I've done all these things and more, by the way.)
I've admired so many people who have seemed to have this capacity to always see the bright side and hold on when everything around them is telling them to let go. Famous people and everyday folks alike. How did they do it? How did they manage to hang in there when I so often couldn't? What was I doing wrong? Why wasn't I as strong as they?
It wasn't until recently ... very recently - like two weeks ago ... that I finally understood.
I was having a bad day a work. We've all been there, right? A fellow teacher asked me what was wrong. She said she could see it all over my face. I told her I just didn't have it that day. I didn't have it in me to fix my face, to give a stiff upper lip, to pull it all together. I was just holding on. It was all I could do. And I felt like a failure. Here I was at work and I was letting what was bothering me show though like glass. What kind of person was I?
But that's the secret ... that's the "mustard seed". No, I wasn't able to give it my all ... the full strength I usually have. But I was holding on. I was standing up. I was at work, after all. And functioning at some capacity. I hadn't given up. It may not have been much. But it was a "mustard seed's" worth. And that was enough for that moment.
Later that day, I got some news that pepped me up. My face got brighter ... I wasn't looking so down in the mouth. I was able to stand a bit straighter and be more of myself. That "mustard seed" had gotten me though.
So, I now know. I finally understand. It's not that you have to have it all always. Sometimes, you just need a "mustard seed's" worth.