Redeeming the Mundane

I always look forward to family get-togethers! I realize many have strained family relationships, and my heart goes out to them.

But on my side and my husband’s such gatherings are enjoyable affairs. There is laughter and practical jokes, hugs and “catch-up” conversation. And don’t forget the food!

This particular reunion was the first of what is hoped to be an annual event with Dave’s family on his mother’s side. He grew up very close to his cousins, seeing them almost every weekend. I feel blessed as not only his siblings and parents but cousins and aunts and uncles welcome me as just another member of the family.

Attitude Problem

This was an event I was very much anticipating, and the entire family had a great time! However, while I rather enjoyed the 5-hour drive to the party, the return trip 23 hours later was not welcomed (especially since our family had taken two vehicles).

It was a long and tedious journey. Tired and a “teensy bit” grumpy, I wasn’t enjoyable company for my son. Reflecting later on my sharp answers and sullen mood, I was a little chagrined to realize that such an attitude is not confined to late-night drives.

Surliness often mars my day-to-day life as well (and likely many of yours).

But certainly there is good reason for me to be ill-humored: I’ve done this same thing a billion times! How is this making a difference? If someone would only help! Why do I always have to? Can’t someone help me? Doesn’t anyone care?

Mundane Days

Actually, I believe the reason for our glum disposition is often a reflection of the boredom and restlessness we feel with our daily lives rather than what someone did or didn’t do. Everyday activities are looked on as little more than meaningless or as obstacles to get around.

Similar to my undesired drive home, many days we would much rather be elsewhere, doing something different, something exciting.

Days are often just long, exhausting, and tedious. The same old thing. Hour after endless hour of just … doing … it.

We crave the interesting, the fun, the extra-ordinary, the miraculous!

Surely, there should be more to life than this! If we are in the Lord’s will, wouldn’t it be exciting? Shouldn’t we be fulfilled?

It appears that many of the great prophets and Biblical leaders throughout the Old Testament thought the answer should be yes. King David apparently became bored with his life and sought to enliven his days by pursuing a married woman, only to suffer in the end. Samson looked for excitement through a woman as well. It ended with his death.

What about the Israelites? Repeatedly, they were displeased with what God was asking them to do or where He wanted them to go or even with what He gave them to eat. They wandered in the desert for 40 years!

Even among the apostles, life must have been dreary at times as most of them spent long days traveling between towns or in jail awaiting trial. I imagine life for Paul was anything but exciting as he sat imprisoned at Caesarea Maritima for two years.

Exciting? Fun? Extraordinary? Miraculous?

Try scary, boring, depressing, and monotonous!

Finding Joy and Contentment

It is easy to grow morose when doing the mundane. Folding laundry, cleaning bathrooms, or changing diapers can seem of little importance in the grand scheme of life. And exciting interludes of travel and family gatherings will always be treasured.

But joy and contentment won’t be found in what duty we are performing but for Whom we are doing it!

Joy and contentment won't be found in what duty we are performing but for Whom we are doing it! Click To Tweet

Acknowledging that God is in every task we undertake will give us an entirely new perspective on each season of our lives. Then even picking up dirty socks for the umpteenth time will take on new significance. And the long car drive: an opportunity for an extended praise service or a chance to commune quietly with the Maker of heaven and earth.

I know better than to think I will never again be grumpy or irritated or discontent (sorry guys!) But focusing on God while completing my chores may just redeem a few more days.

What more could I ask for?

“… do everything for God’s glory” (1 Corinthians 10:31b).

Reflections: Have you found ways to help redeem those mundane chores or the melancholy day? How do you glorify the Lord in your day-to-day life?

By His grace ≈

Julie

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

One comment on “Redeeming the Mundane
  1. Dawn says:

    Great piece, Julie. Having a thankful heart through it all is where we are being lead. He so wants a personal relationship with each of us, that sometimes it is those “less than desired” moments when he is reeling us closer. I am thankful that He continues to provide attitudes, pain and joys to remind me to seek HIM first.

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