I was curled up with my Bible by the window when I heard the pitter patter of slippered feet. My young son stumbled down the stairs with his blue blankie in one hand and his tattered stuffed dog in the other. I moved the Bible in my lap to the broad arm of the leather chair where I sat, and my littlest boy snuggled up beside me in the morning hush.
Joshua crawled on my lap, and I buried my nose in the soft nest of his tousled hair. I breathed in the subtle scent of little boy — a fragrant mix of yesterday’s backyard dirt and last night’s sleep. And together, we watched the sun’s pink fingers pierce the dark before dawn. We swapped sleepy chatter about school friends and soccer games, recess plans and superheroes.
Then when my son grew quiet, my eyes roamed back to the Bible still lying open beside me. My early bird rested his head on my shoulder, and I read King David’s ancient overture to the metronome of my son’s rhythmic breathing.
“I have asked one thing from the LORD — it’s all I seek: to live in the LORD’s house all the days of my life, seeing the LORD’s beauty and constantly adoring his temple.” Psalm 27:4 (CEB)
“What does it say?” my boy murmured as he pointed to the holy writ marked with a streak of yellow highlighter.
I put voice to the verse I’d just consumed in silence.
“I have asked one thing from the LORD … it’s all I seek”
“Who wrote that?” Joshua asked.
“King David,” I replied.
“The one who killed the giant?”
“Yep,” I answered.
“The one who fought all those battles and lived in the palace and was a really really important king?” my little guy questioned, his sluggish posture now taut and alert.
“That’s the one,” I nodded, smirking at my son’s growing enthusiasm.
“Oh,” he said with a reverent sigh. “That David must have really loved God.”
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
“Cause he could’ve asked for anything … And all he asked for was more of God.”
My pensive one squirmed in my lap. Then, in a small, apologetic whisper he admitted, “I think I would’ve asked for something else.”
My stomach lurched at my son’s honesty, and I leaned low to tuck my words in his ear. “Me too,” I conceded. “Me, too.”
The morning sun was peaking above the treetops and the clock above the mantle ticked a steady warning that soon the big yellow bus would be chugging up the hill.
But before I climbed the stairs to wake the rest of my children for school, I cuddled my small son and wondered if I’d been dreaming in the wrong direction.
What if the secret to a large life isn’t found in dreaming big, but in dreaming small?
Inarguably, King David accomplished “big things” in his lifetime. He slew a giant, conquered nations and ruled a dynasty. In fact, the reality of this hero’s life probably far surpassed the dreams he’d entertained as a lowly shepherd boy caring for his father’s sheep.
However, if we read between the lines of his story, we see that the king’s colossal quest wasn’t for big fame or glory, but for a small gap between God’s heart and his.
“I have asked one thing from the LORD — it’s all I seek.”
When all was said and done, David’s burning desire was to enjoy the presence of His Lord. His greatest wish wasn’t for gain, but for loss. And when this mighty king chose to lose himself in the Lord, he found the secret to living the life of his dreams; a life large enough to be remembered for generations to come (Matthew 1:6-18).
“Hold me closer,” Joshua murmured as he twined his bony legs around mine. I pulled my son closer to my heart and diminished the space between us. And together, we watched through the window as the first streaks of dawn ignited the sky with a hopeful shimmer.
Then, before I stepped into the spin of a brand new day, I closed my eyes and asked my Heavenly Father for one small thing:
Dear God, Shrink the gap between Your heart and mine and grow within me a giant love for You.