When you read the second chapter of the book of Acts, amidst the many unusual and miraculous occurrences, you come across two very important words, very early on, that define the strength and foundation of those first believers. They are the words, “continued” & “continuing”. Defining both the attitude and behaviour of the first church (see Acts 2:42/46).
Eugene Peterson once defined faith as a “long obedience in the same direction“. The term “long” denoting continuance, regularity, perseverance.
The challenge of ordinary
Living as a believer is seldom a rollercoaster ride of thrills and spills, with adrenaline pumping corners and death-defying dips and peaks. Much of the time it is a steady, persistent continuance.
And what identifies those able to stay its course and live it well, it is not their ability to handle the dips and spirals and thrills, but their determination to stay the course irrespective of the ordinariness at times of the life that it demands.
Here is the crux of the problem with many. It is not the tough challenges that deter us from following, but just the simple every day, ordinary routine of living, day in, day out.
We get bored, restless, agitated and impatient. We signed up for thrills and excitement, mystery and intrigue and realise pretty quickly, that such does not come in regular abundance but rather in irritating fits and starts.
We assume that the life of faith is like a good biography or an arresting film; with all the dull and somewhat ordinary bits edited and only the highlights and the significant moments played out.
Yet we discover that it is quite the opposite. That it is the ordinary and the normal that seem to come to the fore again and again. And the thrillingly unusual is notable only by its absence.
Growing in the mundane
If we could see it, those times of normalcy and ordinariness are the very moments in which true, enduring faith is forged and revealed. If God had to wait until our lives crashed into the darkest ravines, or rose to the highest mountain tops, in order to craft something of the weight and significance of faith in us, it would take a long time for any kind of maturity to become established.
But the reality is that our faith, maturity and attitude is built in all the ordinary, routine day-to-day things that we do often unconsciously as part of our regular routines. Maturity is built in washing pots, hoovering the carpets, making beds. Greatness is developed in paying bills, sorting the mortgage and cooking the meals.
We grow in both our Martha and our Mary moments. In both executing the daily chores and routines as well as sitting in contemplation and prayer.
Perhaps the next time we sense irritability and impatience taking over, we ought to take a fresh assessment of our ordinariness and appreciate that God is in fact in such moments as busy and as committed as he is in all our unusually challenging or exhilarating moments.
Grace often moves and works in the shadows of the most ordinary and normal things.
Please click the dvd link … Unnoticed mum