rebelling against low expectations

Here Lived A Great Streetsweeper


It is not extremely difficult for us to convince ourselves that the faithful practice of doing small, hard things should be valued as vital preparation for future achievements. It is, however, much harder to view them as significant in and of themselves. Can we assign meaning to these simplest and humblest of acts?

Martin Luther King Jr. says we can. He wrote: “If a man is called a street-sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street-sweeper who did his job well.”

This is the same purposefulness that the Apostle Paul shares when he writes, “Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men,” and “whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.”

As Christians we have an incredible sense of overall life purpose but we also believe that God assigns the specific everyday circumstances of our lives, the small things (Psalm 16). Our overall sense of purpose gives meaning and significance to every small thing we do in life; we view them joyfully and wholeheartedly as opportunities to live well and beautifully for our Creator.

With this biblical worldview, there is no basis for despising small or obscure things. It places no limits on our chances to make an impact or live for the glory of God. Like the street-sweeper your actions at home, at school, at church, and elsewhere in your community can bring great glory to God if you are willing to throw yourself into them 100% just because they are things that He has given you to do.

And because God is good, by doing whatever He has put before you with all your heart, regardless of whether it appears significant or not, you will find yourself benefited and strengthened, ready for next thing.

Answer the following questions, then share your answers and other thoughts with your fellow rebelutionaries in the comments section below:

  • What small things are you doing?
  • What would it look like for you to do them for the glory of God?

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →