While sitting in class today, I caught myself thinking about how glad I’ll be when I finish school. And yesterday, I was thinking about how excited I’d be when we get to bring home the two children we’re adopting from Uganda. It’s funny that I think so much about monumental events when they make up such a small part of my daily life. There’s something appealing about the moment of accomplishment, the move-in to a new house, the birthday or the vacation. But, this isn’t real life. Life is lived in the in-between places. Life is the stuff that happens while I’m still in school and still pregnant and still insecure and still weak and impatient. Yes, I’m shaped by the crazy highs and lows, but this doesn’t comprise most of my existence on earth. A lot of life is brushing teeth, grocery shopping, driving to class or work, raising children, clocking in, drinking coffee and trivial dialogue with friends. The cross-country moves and hirings and firings, deaths, births, graduations, exciting and devastating events make up nominal sections of our pie charted lives. I tend to view life with God in the same way. I can’t wait till I have a camp experience or get an email from God or become overwhelmed and cry during a song. I have become dependent on spiritual highs in order to feel and enjoy communion with God. Yet, much of my spiritual journey is characterized by the mundane, and it’s in this place that I often have little idea how to commune with God. I know how to come to him in the highs, I know how to rely on him in the lows, but these don’t account for many of my days.
The Israelites’ journey out of Egypt and into the Promised Land gives me great appreciation for the sacredness of the mundane. In the midst of miracles, there is also routine. Sure, there are moments where the people of God are freed from slavery and cross a big sea on dry ground, but this is the exception. Normally, these folks are gathering food in the morning, the same food day after day, and sleeping in the same wilderness night after night.
God wants to show us how the everyday can be sacred. He wants to show us faithfulness in the midst of the routine. He wants us to see what happens when the unexpected people are used to redeem the expected people. But redemption, reconciliation, and real life are pieced together by our participation in the mundane. I don’t want to miss out on life by looking to tomorrow. I want to be present to Jesus as I fold clothes and play in the sprinkler with my girls. It is these moments, these average, ordinary moments that help me unpack the mystery of God. Even as the Israelites were setting up camp and gathering food, they were doing it in the presence of YHWH—that’s what made it sacred. God wants to reframe what it means to walk with him, and, more often than not, he’s using lawn work and Sonic happy hour to show us himself right smack in the middle of the mundane nature of life. Embrace the laundry. Embrace the morning run and the irritating friends—because you’re living right now in the presence of a Holy God.