Day 2 • Getting Lost In The Ordinary • Finding Him In The Boredom
Focus your heart in worship by listening to this song:
Gain heart focus by praying Scripture out loud:
Lord, I can be so much like Job. You speak in one way and then another, and still I am prone not to hear you. It’s because I am not continually existing with an awareness of you: abiding. I don’t bear the fruit of your presence in my life because I am not focusing on your presence. I know that when I become more aware of you and abide in you, I’ll produce tremendous fruit in my life. But apart from you I can do nothing. I don’t want to live a life that accomplishes nothing. Help me to hear your voice today.
Adapted from Job 33:14; John 15:1-27
It’s an epic story.
Recorded for and worn out by our age of evangelism.
Jesus meets a woman at a well. The story is seminary for the priesthood of believers. I’ve read it a hundred times, if not a thousand.
But today I saw it differently. Today I noticed how very ordinary a day it was.
Jesus was bone tired from a day of ordinary walking.
A woman comes for the ordinary task of fetching water.
And then..bam… the Voice of the One we need makes sound.
In the ordinary.
I tried to make the story hold up my own weary mind. 2013 was way too ordinary for me. Too many meetings and budget crunching hours. A lot of extra hours of work. Not a lot of extra pay. Sick kids. (Ordinary sick. Not scary sick.) Horses that poo in their stalls and expect me to muck. Barn stalls that flood from a rainy season gone wild. And I muck again. A little bad news mixed in with a lot of ordinary days. Hardly any really great news.
Sometimes the ordinary can feel like a battle ground. 2013 wore me out.
The alarm clock screams all-too-early day-after-day?
The professor liked to drone on as he recites the text book reading assigned the night before?
The boss didn’t give you enough hours?
Uncle Sam took too much of the few hours you did get?
The boy didn’t call?
The best friend didn’t come?
I didn’t realize that the Voice was speaking to me when I read the story of the Woman at the Well. Telling me that He was in the ordinary. I didn’t realize God was asking me to invite him into my ordinary.
But he chases us down when we don’t get it.
Then, I found Gideon in the pages of Judges. He was hiding in a wine press to do his ordinary job of threshing wheat. There God came to him with a call. “Deliver my people.” The Voice in the ordinary.
And then, I found the Shepherds in the Christmas story. Standing in the dark to do their ordinary job of tending sheep when the angelic hosts came to sing because Jesus had come. The Voice was screaming out from infant lungs on that ordinary silent night.
So many ordinary moments interrupted by God.
I decided I would invite him in the next time I grumbled about the ordinary. (Which is way too often.)
It happened under my oak trees in late November. Nasty trees those oaks. So many leaves. And the even more horrible nuts. Me and my leaf blower were hardly a match, but take them on we did. And I took on an attitude of bitterness at this hard, ordinary work.
But his Spirit called. Reminding me. Reluctantly, I said, “Holy Spirit come! Come into my ordinary.”
I felt Him in the deepest marrow of my being. The lightness in my flesh. The levity in my mood. The immediate change in my posture. He was there. Few times have I felt him like that. What a response to my invitation into the ordinary.
“What do you want to talk to me about?” I asked, my leaf blowing becoming a distant task as His Voice became my focus. And he spoke. Oh, did he speak to me that day in the ordinary blowing of leaves!
The thing is: he was always there. Never once did I ever walk alone. Nor do you. But how many times do we miss hearing him because we are grumbling about the ordinary instead of seeking Him in it. Have you invited him in to be heard in the ordinary?
Or are you missing him.
Invite him into your ordinary today.
You may find that in this quieting of the static noise that is Facebook, texting, and Hulu that you are a little bored. It’s normal to be bored. Ordinary even. It is not usual for us to be at conferences where He is worshipped—Catalyst, Passion, Women of Faith, the church retreat. I don’t live regularly there on that mountain top, but in the ordinary valley of living. If I had to choose, I’d rather learn to experience him in the ordinary. There’s so much more of that to go around. And that’ll mean more of him.
Until your spirit is so thirsty for something that you really, truly call out to The Voice and hear it in the quiet ordinary of life.
A Note From Your Love
You are my little lamb. I am the Shepherd. Does a shepherd leave his flock? Never. And I do not leave you. My sheep know my voice. You’ll recognize it if you just stop to listen. And then, you’ll have eternal life and no one can steal you from me.
(Based on John 10:27-28)
Write Your Story
Write today about your struggles with the ordinary of life. Where do you feel stagnant and burdened? Worn out by the mundane and boring? (This may increase during these ten days if you pull away from the stimulation of social media, but don’t succumb to the temptation to give in. Keep listening for God’s Voice.) Be prayerful as you write about what you need to invite God in to this week. Invite him in real time. As you study. As you cash out another McDonald’s customer. As you babysit. As you make your bed. Hear him there.
If you have enjoyed this devo-style “feast” today, consider getting a copy of my latest release, “Get Lost: Your Guide To Finding True Love.” Included in the pages of the book is a ten-day Love Feast, and we offer a free on-line video talk show for groups to enjoy the feast together.