There are a few books — only a few — I wish everyone could read. One of them is No Little People by Francis Schaeffer.
Schaeffer was a theologian, pastor, and philosopher. He was famous for founding L'Abri in Switzerland, a place where curious travelers could come to discuss philosophical and religious beliefs.
He wrote a number of good books, but I love No Little People the most. I like a lot of the chapters, but chapter 1 is especially good.
No Little People
We tend to be impressed by gifted, impressive people. It’s easy to think that we don’t matter because most of us are pretty average, sometimes even below average. We face a lot of pressure to measure up, and we feel discouraged when we don’t.
One of the greatest lies that we’re tempted to believe is this: I’m little. I don’t matter.
Schaeffer disagrees. “The Scripture emphasizes that much can come from little if the little is truly consecrated to God,” he writes. “There are no little people and no big people in the true spiritual sense, but only consecrated and unconsecrated people.”
I love this reminder. It really doesn’t matter how above-average you are or you aren’t. You don’t have to do a thing to impress God. He can use anyone who comes to him. It’s his specialty. He can use you no matter who you are.
“Take the smaller place so you have quietness before God,” he writes. Stop pushing yourself ahead, and find peace with being who you are. Instead of trying to make a name for yourself, devote yourself to serving him and let him choose what to do with you.
No Little Places
I sometimes struggle with FOMO, the fear of missing out. It’s easy to think that the real action must be taking place somewhere else and that we’re missing out here.
“To be wholly committed to God in the place where God wants him—this is the creature glorified,” writes Schaeffer. “Only one thing is important: to be consecrated persons in God’s place for us, at each moment.”
Wherever you are right now is important, because it’s where God placed you. We don’t have to look elsewhere for contentment. We can rest in wherever we happen to be right now.
Stop Looking Elsewhere
Why do I like this book so much?
It always seems to feel like we should be doing more or that we need to find the action. We’re on a continual search for meaning, and that meaning is found in becoming someone else or going somewhere where we’re not. We’re on a perpetual search for what we don’t have.
Schaeffer reminds us that God meets us not when we become someone else, but when we approach him just as we are, just where we are. We can get off the treadmill and enter into a relationship with God without becoming someone else or looking elsewhere. God will meet us — the real us — right here.
In this crazy world, we need this reminder. That’s why I love this book: it’s a message we need to hear again today.