God of the mundane

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Category : faith, hope, miracles, trust

 

Sometimes the best thing we can do is the mundane.  Sometimes that’s where God meets us. 

The story of Zechariah is like that.  He and his wife had tried for years to have children.  But couldn’t.  In a society that valued a male heir so highly, the pain must have been horrible.  How many times, I wonder, did they cry out “God where are you?  Why are you silent?!”

But God wasn’t silent.

In the midst of Zechariah doing his job (as a priest no less) God met him.  And told him he and his wife would have a son.  That son would grow up and be called John the Baptist – the man who would prepare the world for Jesus’ arrival.  (Luke 1: 5-15)

This story strikes me for the simple reason that despite their fears, their concerns, and their doubt they remained obedient.  If Zechariah had said, “God hasn’t shown up in all these years, I’m going to quit my job!” I wonder if he would have ever encountered God. 

I think he wouldn’t have.

Only through obedience – doing the mundane – that Zechariah and Sarah experienced God.  This forces me to look at my life.  Am I not doing the mundane, am I not being obedient, simply because I want to see something flashy?  Do I wait to act until I see cheap theatrics?  Or do I act simply because who God is excites me?  What would my life look like if I never heard from God again?

 

does God want you to clean your room?

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Category : God, faith, taking action, trust

 

Cleaning and God.  You’re probably wondering what those two things have in common, aren’t you? 

Well to be honest so was I.  At least at first.  But it all clicked a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.  Or maybe that was Star Wars?   I think in my case it all started with a problem and a simple conversation with God.  That’s much, much closer and not that long ago.  Last week really.  But I digress.   

When I have a problem I like to talk it over with God.  I’ll talk to God about pretty much everything in my life.  I don’t care if it’s a big thing, like what to do about my job search, or something really important, like where to go for dinner.  I like to hear what God might have to say.    

This case was no different.  I was struggling with a creative / technical issue involving a new project I’ve started.  And I wasn’t having any luck coming to a solution  Especially working at my desk.  So I did what any good ADD-prone person does; I started to clean. 

I figured while I was cleaning I could ask God what he thought about my problem.  I bounced a few ideas off of him.  And then waited.  Nothing.  

“Just great” I thought.  “Not only is my apartment a disaster, but now I’m not getting any feedback from the Big Guy.”

I stood there looking at my apartment, quickly losing the desire to even try to clean the mess.  When I heard God say something.  Now it wasn’t audible or anything.  I didn’t see a burning bush (or a burning can of Pledge).  But the part of me that’s “wakes up” when God is speaking could hear something. 

“Don’t stop cleaning” God whispered.

“What?”  I thought.  “Why does God care if I’m cleaning?!”

To which I heard, “just be obedient.”

I don’t know about you, but that’s not really my favorite phrase.  But I started cleaning again.  The whole time I kept mulling over my problem with God.  I kept asking him questions, and kept getting silence.  In all honesty there was part of me getting frustrated. 

What I didn’t realize was that I had lost track of time.  So when I took a step back and looked up I was shocked to see that what once seemed like an insurmountable problem (seriously, you should have seen the mess) and uncertainty (where am I going to put it all) was replaced with a voice that said, “sometimes all you need to do is be obedient and the problems work themselves out.”

I never would have guessed that God would have used cleaning to teach me more about him.  And while my original problem didn’t get solved, I am encouraged.  Because I know that as long as I keep working, as long as I focus on obedience instead of the “what if’s?” I’ll be okay. 

It’s easy to get entangled in the “what if’s?”  We all do it.  It’s the spiritual equivalent of quicksand: the more we struggle against them, the faster we sink.  Sometimes the best thing we can do is relax, be obedient, and wait for someone to throw us a branch. 

Who would have thought all of that would have come from just being obedient?