You were created for a life of significance. It’s true.
In church world we talk a lot about this. We spend a lot of time celebrating “God’s plans” for our lives and encourage each other to do great things for God. As we tap into our creative purpose in the kingdom of God, we push each other to be people of big faith and bold dreams. This is not rooted in selfish ambition, but part of understanding that Jesus invited us to be a part of his restorative work on earth. We haven’t been sidelined, but are joyful participants in the story of God.
So what then are we to do with the mundane moments – the moments, days, weeks, and months where it doesn’t quite feel as exciting as the way we talk when we’re together?
For instance – today. On Mondays and Tuesdays, I stay home with my two boys who are 5 and 2 while my wife works. Today, I will change some diapers, make grilled cheese, shuttle the boys around on errands, and mow the lawn during nap time. Don’t get me wrong – these are all things I like doing. But maybe you’re like me. Sometimes its hard to know what to do with days that are average, slow, and ordinary. Especially coming off of Sunday where I’m usually encouraging hundreds of people to live a life of significance.
Often times, I see the super-creative, “dreaming with God” conversations cause just as much anxiety as it does hope. It’s easy for us to feel like our Mondays are inconsequential. I wonder if there’s something we need to re-think.
- What if part of “God’s plan” was for us to have some measure of mundanity in our days?
- What if God is not opposed inactivity and silence?
- What if God reserves part of Himself to be found and experienced in the mundane?
- What if there is a measure of significance to be known in slowness?
We sometimes forget that most of Jesus’ life was ordinary and hidden. By the time things started taking off he was 30 years in. The first part of his life was largely unremarkable. But here’s a question – was the first part of his life less significant than the last part? I don’t think so. I believe this was all part of God’s plan.
I’m convinced that part of the reason many of us max out our schedules and live with little margin is because we are afraid of the mundane. We are terrified of moments that seem to lack excitement. Every minute that is not occupied with activity feels like a waste of potential. Underlying our social media posts is the desire to remind our friends that our lives *really are* interesting. After all, if a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to tweet it, did it really happen?
For us to truly live with significance, we must recover the beauty of slowness, stillness, and the unmeasurable moments of our days.
Only in mundane moments…
- You learn to experience God’s presence in simple ways. (1 Kings 19:12)
- You are reminded that your heavenly value is not in your activity. (Matt. 6:26)
- You find that humble, unnoticed tasks of service are when you’re most like Jesus. (Matt. 20:28)
- You are able to appreciate the present, not just be absorbed in the future. (Luke 10:42)
- You settle into the truth that God doesn’t need you to be amazing…just you. (Phil. 4:12)
Frederick Buechner said it best…
“All the absurd little meetings, decisions, inner skirmishes that go to make up our days. It all adds up to very little, and yet it all adds up to very much. Our days are full of nonsense, and yet not, because it is precisely into the nonsense of our days that God speaks to us words of great significance – not words that are written in the stars but words that are written into the raw stuff and nonsense of our days, which are not nonsense just because God speaks into the midst of them. And the words that he says, to each of us differently, are “Be brave…be merciful…feed my lambs…press on toward the goal.”
What about you? How does the slowness, stillness, and mundane bring value to your life? Leave a comment on Facebook.