I think most of us struggle with it, I know I have countless times at different points in my life. I feel “less” and as though I am leading a life of “less.” Maybe it was growing up in a culture that told us as children we could be anything we wanted to be, achieve anything if we just tried hard enough. But life is different than that projection and for me that includes waking up morning after morning in horrible pain, wondering if getting out of bed is even worth it. We all have things that make us wonder if it is worth it, don’t we?
It is. No matter what the difficulty or struggle is, getting out of bed is the first step to moving forward. Perhaps we have to embrace these difficulties, these hardships, look them full in the face and acknowledge we are going to get up.
Years ago I began reading a book about a monk named Brother Lawrence who spent his life doing mundane menial tasks that he didn’t care for. We call this adulting now and complain about our lack of motivation. Brother Lawrence used it as time to worship. Right in the middle of a lack-luster life in which he daily cleaned up after his fellow monks by scrubbing out dishes and what-not, he “practiced the presence of God.” His life of less was actually full of God because he counted all that he did as worshipping and hoping in God. He worked as thought it was all for the Lord.
I remember a friend of mine teaching about life falling into categories like the mundane or the majestic and I was struck by the beauty of the alliteration. The thought was not original with her, but it was the first time I had heard it. I think of all the things in my life that are mundane and mind-numbing. There are always loads of laundry to be washed, meals to be made, work to be done, people to be loved (maybe this sounds wrong, but sometimes loving can feel mind-numbing). What will we do with the frustration, the sense of futility that tells us that what we are doing doesn’t really matter? We live in an Instagram culture, where everything should be lovely, glamorous, picture-worthy. But what if the majestic is actually to be found in the mundane? What if in adulting, we actually have the choice to worship God? What if in the midst of this dark grey of moving one foot in front of the other, we can choose joy? Can we reach the heart of God Himself by recognizing He is the one we serve, the One we get out of bed for, sit through traffic for, balance our budgets for? What if He becomes our sole purpose?
This is what I propose we do. Over the course of this week let’s ask God to open wide our eyes to the details and responsibilities that make up our lives. As we begin to recognize each thing, let us take a moment to focus our thoughts on the One we are truly serving. For some of us, that will mean we break out in a little dance or a song of spontaneous praise. For others, that will simply mean pushing away destructive thoughts, ones that might deter us from worship. I often find myself praying, sometimes even snapping pictures with my phone as though to help me remember, “Here, when this was happening, I chose to see God is at work.” I’ll be snapping photos all week, #majesticinthemundane and #theGodofhope over on Instagram and FaceBook. I challenge anyone who would like to join me to do so, but only if it helps you worship.
Photo credits: Greg Rakozy, Catt Liu, Fancy Crave, Nik Macmillan, Andrew Neel, and Aaron Andary.