The Sacred Ordinary

So far, most of my day has been rather mundane. Most of yesterday was rather routine, and most of tomorrow will be too. In fact, most of my life will be filled with the mundane, the routine, the ordinary.

I tend not to like ordinary. I’ve always believed that the ordinary parts of life are simply obstacles blocking my way to the more memorable and life-changing parts of life. For my life to be any different, I must have or do something that is unique or exciting.

After all, if most of my days are rather ordinary, doesn’t that make my life, and myself, nothing more than ordinary?

Yet God has created us in such a way that we require constant attention and maintenance, requiring us to spend most of our time simply taking care of ourselves. Between eating, sleeping, hygiene, health and exercise, most of our lives are spent on maintenance. On rather ordinary tasks.

Are these things a hindrance to what really matters, or has God created us this way for a reason?

For most of my life, I’ve had the understanding that the essential parts to my formation are the grand, the memorable, the exciting, the “sacred”. If I can have a meaningful experience in communal worship, I’ll feel better. I just need another retreat for things to change. I need a good sermon to change my thinking. I need something that isn’t ordinary or routine.

What I’ve come to learn is that while these things can help us change, the main way that God intends to form us (and is forming us) is through the ordinary.

My morning routine, my daily schedule, my interactions with my normal (or not so normal) family, my times of silence and busyness, and my ordinary tasks are forming me into the person I am becoming tomorrow.

The use of my phone and technology is informing my ability to be present, both with people and with God. How and what I eat is forming me as either consumer or worshipper. How I practice gratitude is informing the joy in each day. Showing up with God in prayer and the Word is informing my desire to follow Him daily. How I argue with my wife is forming me into a person of peace or one of conflict. How I spend my money is forming me into a person of want or of generosity.

I find myself so often asking God for something extraordinary to change me and my life. But maybe what I need most is the sacred in my ordinary. Because as I begin to view these ordinary things of life as sacred moments of formation, I will allow God to slowly, over time, form me into the person he wants me to be.

Take a look at a few things that fill your days. How are they forming you into the person you are? How would God like to use your ordinary to change you today?

May you not simply seek to get out of your ordinary. May you find the sacred in your ordinary.

For Christ and His Kingdom,