We have finally reached the end of the book. We pick up and finish today with Esther Chapter 10.
Three short verses make up chapter 10. In them we learn that Xeres is imposing taxes, his accomplishments and the detailed account of Mordecai's rank are recorded for all time, that Mordecai was second in command to Xeres, highly esteemed, and he didn't stop working for the good of his people. I find that thrilling.
So many of us get that one big win and lose our taste to pursue more. We either think we can't do something equally as important or that doing something less significant is not worth it. Neither could be further from the truth. Why? Because we don't know what our continued work will produce over the long haul.
The best illustration is one most of us have probably heard and has to do with apples and their seeds. If we take one apple seed and plant it, a tree will grow and we will get more apples. If we take a seed from one of those, we will get more. If we keep on planting trees, how many trees and apples will that first seed have created? More than our lifetime will ever know. The same is true of the work we do.
Our own, single, solitary colossal act might create an enormous initial impact, but the little, subsequent ripples can undoubtedly lead to someone else's single, solitary colossal impact, and so on and so forth. There is no action we can ever do that ends with us.
Our pursuit of Jesus and doing the works God prepared in advance for us to do have far more results than we can imagine. And just because it's not big, grand, or famous does not make it any less than miraculous. Our obedience in something that appears ridiculously small can have outcomes we never knew possible.
Perfect example ~ We plant a community garden. Not a big deal. Someone comes to learn gardening from us and we teach them everything we know. (Don't ask me. My hands are the equivalent of certain death when it comes to a plant.) We say one thing that clicks and connects the dots of something they read that morning which leads to a conversation with their pastor, a sermon series at their church, and someone hearing said sermon that ultimately becomes a missionary reaching 20 people with the hope of the Gospel because we planted carrots. We have no idea how far our obedience goes.
This book has challenged me in how I see myself, the world, the people around me, relationships, my actions, thoughts, and beliefs. I hope it has done the same for you. As we close I only have one, two-part reflection question but it's one I hope we will seriously consider answering.
What one thing that we learned over the last ten days do we feel most passionate about and what are we going to do with it that impacts our sphere of influence?