Friday, February 8, 2013

NBTS: Next Big Thing Syndrome

I used to think that I had to do something grandiose in order to have a happy life.

But now, I think I can be fulfilled and nourished in my ordinary life.

This thought process did not happen overnight.

For a long time, I wanted to be a missionary, discover the cure for cancer, compose a timeless masterpiece, change the world, or invent the next big thing.

Whatever it was, it had to be something majorly impressive.

Because I had such extreme expectations, it was really hard to do anything for fear of being just “ordinary”.  Often times, I would not try because I knew I couldn't be perfect.

When I choose St. Therese, the Little Flower, as my confirmation saint and name, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  Psst…I bet God knew what He was doing.

Like St. Therese, I too wanted to do great things.  But God had different plans for her and for me.  In her little way, St. Therese was able to do great things but not in the way she had originally wanted.  Believe it or not, she is the patron saint of missionaries without ever setting foot on a third world country or even leaving the cloistered convent.  God used her little ways and transformed them into colossal accomplishments.

I cannot compare myself to St. Therese.  Even the thought of it makes me laugh.  But I still invoke her help and intercession regularly.

For years, I thought that I was a failure if I didn’t do something great.  I imagine St. Therese might have felt this way at some point in her youth.

In our world, talk is always of the next big thing and what great things are going on in your life.  When the conversation tended toward this subject, it was hard for me to be okay with being ordinary.

I am thankful to have St. Therese as an example of how to live extraordinarily in an ordinary life. 

People who suffer from depression often get overwhelmed easier than others.  Having bigger than life expectations was detrimental to my well-being.  I didn’t think my life could have value if I wasn’t doing something extraordinary. 

I realize now that my life can be extraordinary even if it seem ordinary on the outside.  God can do extraordinary things with my life if I give it over to Him.

St. Therese, the Little Flower, pray for us so that we can give our ordinary lives over to God and allow Him to transform our souls to be ever united to Him in Love!

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