“We too can live the quiet, hidden life of an everyday saint, knowing that such a life is not hidden from God. God especially values things that are hidden, obscure, and overlooked.”- Ken Shigematsu
“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”- Matthew 5:6 (NLT)
Ken Shigematsu concludes Chapter 11 of Survival Guide for the Soul as he talks about when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Most significantly, Ken observes, Jesus refused to define Himself via His success, to create the largest possible platform, or do the spectacular. Indeed, Jesus lived 90 percent of His life in total obscurity. Thus, Jesus modeled that greatness and obscurity aren’t opposites.
Therefore, Ken underscores, in God’s estimation your life may be truly great. Despite the fact that people fail to recognize you or take special note of your accomplishments. In her classic novel Middlemarch, George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) writes:
” . . . for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”
In conclusion, Ken notes the difference between ‘resume values’ and ‘eulogy values’ (character qualities). At the end of life, career accomplishments should feel like a feather on a scale when people compare them to your character. Hence, Ken cites St. Dominic. He once said, “Death will kill a man, but the thought of death can save him or her.”
So, what really matters is our knowledge that God loves us. In addition, God cares about who we become far more than what we either do or don’t do. Eulogy virtues define what you value most and the person you deeply long to be.
Today’s question: What helps you believe that God especially values hidden things? Please share.
Coming Monday: the November Short Meditation – “What a hurricane is to a mosquito”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Best part of our Striving and Soulful Adams”