I think we need more emphasis on the glory of living ordinary lives for Christ. Who knows, perhaps it could become the new radical! I fear that all the emphasis we hear on being radical has given many people the feeling that ordinary is either boring or some form of compromise.
“I am just a mom.” I am just a mechanic.” I am just a waitress.” “I am just a ….” On and on it goes. But maybe there is no “just” with God? Or, maybe God is more likely found in the “just.”
The words of the apostle Paul must be heard today: “….make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (I Thessalonians 4:11-12).
“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives” (Titus 3:14).
These words are so needed because we’ve lost touch with the glory of being called to lives of faithfulness and diligence in the ordinary routines and duties of life.
I think of Jesus’ emphasis on serving God quietly in the secret places. “Be careful” Jesus said, “not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them” (Matthew 6:1). “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen” (Matthew 6:6).
There is a kind of quiet but needed glory in being faithful fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters, neighbors, employees, — just common followers of Jesus. Have we lost touch with the glory of ordinary, non-glamorous devotion to God and others? Have we overly radicalized wholehearted love for God and neighbor by separating it from faithfulness in our mundane duties?
Jesus said, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’” (Luke 17:10).
Jesus asked, “For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”’” (Luke 22:27).
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:1-5).
What would it look like if we had renewed zeal to “… be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
“Stop being unamazed by the strange glory of ordinary things.” Clyde Kilby