Redefining Ordinary

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We need not be suspicious of what we feel in mountaintop experiences — but those feelings will fade. Instead, we must deepen our sense of wonder for the ordinary but uncommon gifts of God in all of life — especially the mundane. Ryan Griffith

I have a tendency to idolize excitement.

I love having good things to look forward too, whether it be lunch with a friend or a football game with family or a date night. Sure, that’s probably normal, but prioritizing only big, momentous, exciting things leaves out a lot of life.

Because let’s face it, the week is composed of a whole lot of ordinary.

And Satan is trying to beat me down with the lie that daily faithfulness, the teeny tiny choices I make, aren’t important.

The commute to work. “Oh, I need a coffee to spice up my morning,” as I spiral down a mindset of discouragement or anxiety about any big expectations ahead.

A slow Saturday at home. “It’s too quiet, I need a movie playing” or “I wish I was like so-and-so, off traveling” instead of enjoying the stillness and talking to God.

Making dinner. “We should go out for ice cream afterward, this dinner a little boring,” when the meal is more than fine, delicious even, and life isn’t about grand meals every day.

A busy afternoon. “I need something to entertain my mind, this work is dull or stressful,” instead of recognizing a nature of laziness and fighting it with intentionality.

This constant need for ‘excitement’ has developed inside me and gives birth to discontentment in the ordinary.

But lately, and maybe this is a testimony to Holy Spirit’s work, I’ve grown discontent with the discontentment. Haha, I know that probably sounds odd.

This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified. Martin Luther

I needed to say no….

…no to fantasizing about what isn’t reality.

…no to believing something different would satisfy me more.

…no to allowing the enemy of my soul to get in my mind and camp there.

And say a strong Yes to finding God in everything. 

The past few weeks at work have been overwhelming, but one morning Holy Spirit impressed on me this thought: Look for God in every single bit of it. 

Because friend, He is with us, inside us, in every single mundane, petty, sweet, seemingly ordinary detail of our lives.

His Spirit moves and breathes with us. Because of that, we can see Him everywhere, experience Him in everything.

All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified. Every moment is a chance to see God. Every breath we take is a chance to thank Him. Every task set before us is a chance to ask for His help. Every simple, easy, mindless activity is a chance to meditate on verses or worship Him with song or adoration.

It’s a refreshing way to think, isn’t it? It is for me.

The ordinary is not wasted. The mundane is not useless.

The secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is. Ann Voskamp

Can we confess that the greatest beauty, adventure, and excitement is found in God himself, in Jesus Christ? It’s the truth, even when so many other lesser perspectives are grabbing for our attention. He is beautiful, and he offers us beauty in the living water of connection with Him, quenching the thirst in our souls (John 4:14).

That’s really what it is, inside me, a thirst.

Thirst for goodness, thirst for wonder, thirst for adventure. Yes, it’s definitely found in a trip to the Grand Canyon. But yes, it can also be found in our day-to-day life.

I’m fascinated by this, but I’m desperate for it. To find God the most exciting part of my life? My Abba, Almighty, Best Friend, accessed no matter where I am, no matter what I’m doing?

Man. Doesn’t that make you want to know more about Him, to know more of His heart, His words, who He is?

I want to tangibly encounter His help when I’m working on a difficult or boring task. I want to experience His bright smile and love when I’m cleaning my house or folding laundry. I want to share my heart with Him as I drive around town.

Ordinary days have their own glory. Every piece of toast with jam on it is a gift of God. Every sweet apple and tasty clementine. When we receive life as God’s gift, we see the glory in the ordinary. Thomas Schreiner

May He redefine ordinary for us, so that we see Him in all our moments.

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

1 Comment

  • Martha Lutier

    Great thoughts. As we age, “ordinary” becomes special. Just having His breath in my lungs at age 70 is a sweet blessing!

    09/14/2017 at 12:52 am Reply
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