It’s 1.1.11 and I’m supposed to have a new years resolution. Something big. Something life altering. Something earth shattering.
But what I have is this thought…
Embrace the ordinary.
I believe that God wants us to embrace the ordinary places of our lives. To know that He is there in those places that we view as boring, inconsequential, routine and monotonous. To be good husbands and good wives. To be good friends and good neighbors. To be good parents and good children. To be good students and good teachers.
Maybe we spend so much time dreaming and envisioning the extra-ordinary that we miss life all together.
Don’t get me wrong…dream big…but don’t become so engulfed in those dreams that you miss God in the here and now.
Brother Lawrence, was a lay brother in a Carmelite monastery in Paris during the 1600’s and I believe he lived by example, embracing the ordinary. (the following is taken from HERE.)
Lawrence was assigned to the monastery kitchen where, amidst the tedious chores of cooking and cleaning at the constant bidding of his superiors, he developed his rule of spirituality and work. In his Maxims, Lawrence writes, “Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?”
For Brother Lawrence, “common business,” no matter how mundane or routine, could be a medium of God’s love. The sacredness or worldly status of a task mattered less than motivation behind it. “Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do. . . We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.”
Brother Lawrence felt having a proper heart about tasks made every detail of his life possess surpassing value. “I began to live as if there were no one save God and me in the world.” Brother Lawrence felt that he cooked meals, ran errands, scrubbed pots, and endured the scorn of the world alongside God. One of his most famous sayings refers to his kitchen:
“The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.
I want to open my eyes to the time and place that God has placed me in.
I want to remain faithful to the things and people God puts in front of me.
I want to believe Jesus’ promise in John 15, “Remain in me and I will remain in you.”
I want to embrace the journey that God has me on.
I want to embrace the day to day.
I want to embrace my wife, my kids and my family.
I want to embrace the ministry called has called me to.
I want to embrace, what some might call, the ordinary.