I don’t know about you, but my life is pretty ordinary. Every day has its repetitive routine that rarely deviates from predictability. Making beds, feeding children, laundry, cleaning, running errands–its all a day-in, day-out recurrence that I do basically on autopilot, giving almost no thought to the daily activities that make up the majority of my time spent here on earth. It’s only recently that my mind began to wonder, “Where is God in all this…..ordinary stuff?”
Sometimes, while I mow our grass, I sign hymns. Mostly I just repeat the same chorus over and over as I traverses our lawn, but it helps at making a boring task seem worthwhile. I feel a change in my attitude and a pleasant feeling settle on me as I complete an ordinary maintenance job. I like to think there is praise in my mowing the lawn when in this state. And why wouldn’t there be?
I never stop to consider that God might be meeting me right in the middle of my overflowing laundry basket. Or that He could be looking down on me with pleasure as I vacuum my floors. I never give much thought to the idea that God created the ordinary and delights in it. Julie Canlis says, in her book entitled A Theology Of The Ordinary, that “All of life is spiritual. Work. Bearing children. Hobbies. Friendship. Repairing gutters. Commuting. This is our worship–the offering of our everyday stuff to God.”
If we believe God created all things, then we also must concede that he created the ordinary bits of this life as well. And that as we live out our daily routines–running from this to that, scrubbing the toilet bowl, and unclogging the drains–every act is a reflection upon the God who created this life. Who looked upon all these things at the very beginning and said they were good. The ordinary things that dominate my life have been declared good and to His glory.
And that is where you will find me. I’ll be reflecting the goodness of God knee-deep in my dirty dishes. And I’ll be performing an act of worship as I straighten the pillows on my couch for the 5th time today. Or as I feed the dog and turn off the kitchen light before bed tonight. God isn’t just around when our minds happen to linger towards Him, and He doesn’t wait for us to suddenly fall to our knees and shout loudly words of worship (although I’m sure He would enjoy that from time to time). God is always with us. Just lovingly watching and enjoying our acts of ordinariness as we go about our days. He lavishes on our ability to experience the life He created for us. And I know He’s smiling down on me with loving grace as I fall into my bed at night exhausted from the ordinary day He made.
I guess, maybe, its not all so “ordinary” after all.