We often let the big ideas, the majestic vistas of salvation, the grand visions of God’s work in the world, and the great opportunities for making an impact in the name of Jesus distract us from taking with gospel seriousness the unglamorous ordinary. Eugene Peterson
Let’s face it, sometimes life is just mundane. The young women are in college where life is a series of sitting in class, going to meals and completing projects. The young mothers change diapers and build block towers for their toddlers to knock down. By the time their child is in middle school, their time is spent in a vehicle, aka taxi cab. When the nest empties they putsy around the house and spend extra time on a new hobby. By then the hair is white, the step slow, and doctor visits occupy a vast amount of time. Is there ever time for the holy?
Daily life is just so “daily,” yet we have a place in our soul that cries out for the holy. It’s the place where God abides – the place from where He is constantly inviting us to come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest (Mark 6:31). For many of us a prolonged rest just doesn’t work. In those times we need to find the holy in the middle of our mundane.
Steps to Finding the Holy
1. Obey Philippians 4:11
Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. When our thoughts are pure and just, the holy can be found in a sink full of dishes and an unmade bed.
2. Extend Grace
The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin (Exodus 34:6-7). When your husband is late for the meal you lovingly prepared – extend grace. When your child spills another glass of milk – extend grace. When your teenager’s room displays all the attributes of a tornado – extend grace. When you burn the pan of cookies – extend grace. Extending grace doesn’t negate the need for correction and guidance. It does mean responding in kindness, and in the kindness we find the holy.
3. Sneak in the Holy
The Holy Spirit will teach you what you are to say (Luke 12:12). Talk about Noah’s obedience over animal cookies and milk. Tell the story of the Good Samaritan while bandaging cuts from a skate board accident. My Aunt Posie told me stories while she was ironing. Sing on the trek between the house and soccer practice. Tell the story of David and Goliath with Lego men. My friend, Anne, refused to allow me to help with the dishes after a recent meal. “Doing dishes is a time for me to pray.”
Don’t fall into the trap of mundane day after mundane day. When we strive to reach into our soul’s “God’s place,” we will hear whispered words, Take off your shoes, the ground on which you stand is holy ground (Exodus 3:5).
Elizabeth Barret Browning penned these words:
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware...
We have to be waiting in our heart’s meditation, offering grace, and sneaking in the holy moments. And maybe, in anticipation, we can slip off our heart’s shoes, knowing that when we do our part, God sends the holy.
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