So many of those we lead are living ordinary lives, grinding out their day-to-day obligations, and generally sticking to their weekly routine without a lot of excitement or drama. Some people would find great comfort in knowing what to expect out of life. Others might say that existence is dull and mundane. I think they might be right.
Let’s face it. Most of us live in the very real reality of mundane lives. Adventure is not around every corner, and the most excitement we find comes when we dive deep into the TV shows we watch or root faithfully for our favorite sports team. Yes, we are busy with a myriad of things related to children, church, friends, and extended family, but busyness does not always equal meaning. We go to work, come home, go to sleep, and do it all again the next day. How can we make the most of every day when the every day seems like it doesn’t matter at all?
God is a God of order. He likes routine and patterns, and He created the rhythm of the every day. He knows the small, minute details of every moment of our lives. In fact, he ordained them to happen exactly as they are happening. So in the midst of our every day, in the times of balance and in the steady days of simply moving forward, how can we encourage the people we lead to maintain a holy, worshipful attitude, knowing God holds all things in His hands? Here are a few suggestions for leaders everywhere to put into practice.
1) Practice faithfulness. The mundane, daily routine of life gives each of us the opportunity to be faithful in the things which we have been given. We have been given homes, and it honors God to keep them clean. We have been given children, and it honors God to care for their needs. We have been given a church family, and it honors God to serve our brothers and sisters with love. Week after week, year after year, we can show God and others just how faithful we can be in the simple things of life. Perhaps God is training us for bigger things! The Parable of the Talents in the Gospel of Matthew reminds us, “For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” When we are faithful with the little things of our seemingly mundane lives, God is preparing us for the future when we will rely on our experience to bolster us into larger arenas of influence.
2) Unexpected time to worship. I love to cook, but I hate cleaning the kitchen. I love walking my dog but hate cleaning up after her. I love my large-sized washer and dryer but hate folding clean laundry. All of these things are what I’ve determined to be necessary evils of a civilized life. But are they really “evils”? No. In actuality, they are an opportunity to show the Lord how much we love Him because of the blessings of a first-world existence that He has given to us. Teach the people under your leadership to look at these every day tasks as having great potential for a time of worship! Worship the Lord as you vacuum your house, knowing that the care you give to your home honors the Lord. Worship the Lord as you walk the dog, knowing that nature is a gift of God and is evidence of His identity as the all-powerful Creator. Worship the Lord when you are taking out the trash, knowing that serving your family through practical chores is a sign of love. Creating times of worship out of the mundane activities of life can change our perspective on the things we think we hate doing. Next time I fold the laundry, I’ll remember that I’m doing it as to the Lord. What a change in attitude that will certainly bring.
3) Time of Preparation. During the down times of life when the excitement level is low, everyone is healthy, and the drama is at a minimum, we can take those times to work on ourselves and prepare for the future. What appears to be mundane time can actually be times when we can mature and grow intentionally through building our relationships with others, developing our minds through reading and educational opportunities, or even taking time to seek the advice of a qualified counselor who can help us work through issues that might be holding us back from thriving in life. These are the things that always get pushed to the side during our times of busyness or personal/family calamity. However, in those times when life is more than electrifying and we don’t know how we’ll make it through, it is our personal work in the commonplace seasons of our lives that will propel us through with success and victory. Don’t be lazy! Make the mundane meaningful by putting in the effort to grow, knowing that the future, although it can be routine, will also be fraught with peril and we’ll need God’s help combined with our own strength to make it through it all.
Encourage the people under your leadership today: The mundane can be meaningful. Watch for ways to create significance, even on the most common and routine of days.