It’s 9 a.m., which means I’m four hours into my day.
- Three diapers changed (two poops).
- Two breakfasts given to each child (my kids are basically hobbits).
- And we’re playing the same pretend game we’ve been playing every day this week (terrapins living in sea caves on the couch).
Instagram may lead you to believe it’s all cute outfits, adventures to a petting zoo, and creative stay-at-home activities like making sun catchers and setting off rockets. But don’t be fooled: parenting little humans is the epitome of long days of small things.
“You made the mistake of having children,” you may counter, as you plan out the most exciting, world-changing career. But even glorified lives on sitcoms sometimes are filled with boredom.
At one point, Parks and Rec’s April is questioning if she likes her job and, more deeply, what she’s passionate about. Ben offers to help her find something new and asks what she wanted to be as a kid as a place to start. The next scene finds them at the morgue. She finds out it would be at least a year before she would even touch a dead body; the first few years are mostly paperwork and filing.
“Ugh,” she says, throwing her head back. “Why is every job just paperwork?”
“Hey,” says the mortician, “it’s a living!”
Who wants to do passionless, monotonous work? No one. Who ends up doing it at some point in their life? Everyone.
Read more: When our work feels insignificant
One challenge we face is the reality that everyday life just doesn’t measure up to the highlight reel of social media. Even my sourdough is edited, photographed from the best angle. It’s not enough to be #delicious, it has to look good too.
Our problem is found in the difference between what looks like a good life, and what really is the very best life.
How does Jesus meet me in the boring and everyday?
Jesus reminds me that his invitation to abundant life (John 10:10) is not attached to a certain set of circumstances but to himself. We aren’t the happiest sheep because we have the greenest pasture but because we have a Good Shepherd who has laid down his life for us.
Jesus is with me in the mundane, inviting me to himself. Every moment is an opportunity to be in the presence of the one true God, to know more and more his perfect love, joy and peace. It is good to be with God.
Jesus reminds me that his invitation to abundant life is not attached to a certain set of circumstances but to himself.
When Elisabeth Elliot reflects on the story of the murder of her husband and four other missionaries in the epilogue of Through Gates of Splendor, she says it has all pointed to one thing:
“God is God. If he is God, he is worthy of my worship and my service. I will find rest nowhere but in his will, and that will is infinitely, immeasurably, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to.”
I often ask: What will make my life truly good? Do I really believe that in Jesus I am being offered the best possible life? Or do I think I can find something better somewhere else?
Psalm 84:11 says, “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
If I believe God is all-knowing and wise, then his plans must be the very best plans. Even when they don’t seem or feel like it.
But more, if I believe that God is good and trustworthy, I can be confident that if it were really for my very best, eternal good, God would give it to me.
Am I willing to choose to trust God again instead of longing for something else? Can I agree with the psalmist that God is withholding no good thing?
When all I can see is what’s happening around me, it’s easy to lose sight of the glory of God. Jesus lifts my eyes to see that the here and now is temporary and the best is yet to come––so I am encouraged not to lose heart.
As I fix my eyes on Jesus, I too can endure what’s hard for the joy to come.
As I follow Jesus’ example, I find that in humble obedience to God in whatever he has asked of me, I will find glory.
Because Jesus has laid down his life for me, I can lay down my life in service to others. I can do whatever God is calling me to because he provides what I need to do it.
I may not be passionate about changing diapers, but I sure do love the little humans inside them. And even when I don’t feel the warm fuzzies for the producer of the poop explosion, I love the God who has invited me into this mundane work.
What some may call passionless monotony, I choose to see as passionately trusting the God who is inviting me to this work.
I have to choose to believe this again and again. And when I have to remind myself of that choice three thousand times in a day, it works its way from my mind down deep into my heart.
There is not some better kingdom work you are missing out on by being faithful in your everyday life.
The most profound work you can do, where the sweetest fruit is produced, is the deep gospel work in your heart. It’s the work of putting all of the other things in which you look for meaning and purpose under God.
We bring glory to God as we humbly receive every good gift he chooses to give. And that includes your everyday tasks and responsibilities.
- He is made much of by the human trafficking lawyer rescuing another person from slavery.
- He is made much of as I remind my son for the hundredth time today to be gentle with his little brother.
- He is made much of as you study, meet up with a friend, or do paperwork.
Everything we do, no matter how boring or exciting, is an opportunity to remember that our inheritance is Jesus. He is with you. He is giving you good. He is serving you so you can serve others wherever you find yourself.
Will you trust God’s goodness, even on the boring days?