Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Making the Best of the Ordinary

I get up most days at 5:30 am.  I drink coffee for 30 minutes each morning before I do anything else so I don’t scream at my children or kick one of our pets.  Coffee along with a short Bible devotional seems to have some ingredient that helps me be a nicer person in the mornings.  It works most, but not all, mornings.  My day is filled with the typical things mom day kind of things:  taking kids to and from school, discipline kids, coach kids, love on kids, laugh with kids and husband, cook for kids and husband, yell at the dogs for barking or making a mess, and office work.  I live an ordinary life for an American woman.  There is nothing that would be news worthy in my lifestyle.  This fact makes Romans 12:1 – 2 most fascinating to me.

Romans 12: 1-2 (The Message)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

God wants my ordinary stuff placed before Him as an offering.  What?  Like all my dirty laundry….I mean literally….my washing of clothes and driving of the car and my cooking?   This perks my interest.  I find it simply amazing that my God would be interested in my ordinary life. 

He tells us here to “fix your attention on God” and by doing so we’ll be “changed from the inside out”.  So instead of thinking about all my mundane chores each day, I should fix my eyes on God.   That means I should be praising Him as I go throughout my day, talking to Him in prayer, listening to Christian music, fellowshipping with other Christians, and reading His Word.  And the other thing it means is that I don’t have to go to Africa or China to follow God, but I can pursue Him right here in my ordinary life.  Whew!  I have to say that gives me a little bit of relief.   I do want to be closer to Him.  I do want 2015 to be God glorifying.  I do want to be changed from the inside out by Him.  I want God to bring out the best in me.  But really, what wife and mother do you know that says on a regular basis, “I’ve got so much extra time on my hands. ” 

What about you?  What’s your plan for 2015?  How do you plan on growing spiritually this year?  Is there comfort in knowing that you can take your ordinary life and offer it to God, and in doing so grow closer to Him?  How do you fix your eyes on God and keep them fixed on Him?

Lord, thank you for the daily, ordinary, mundane chores you have put in my life.  Thank you for a family to take care of and an employer that allows me to do what I’m called to do.  But most of all today, thank you that you can use the ordinary each day to help be draw closer to you and to bring out the best in me.  Your love for me is simply amazing.  Help me to keep my eyes on you, Lord.  – In Jesus’ name, Amen.