the ordinary

Most often we live in the ordinary. We are plodding along, doing what we have to do, maybe–as in my case–trying to stay awake to do more. But by and large stuck in the ordinary.

Of course in little ways the extraordinary may summon us a few times or less each day. Or in bigger ways. We tend to meet those times with more enthusiasm, or at least more intensity and vigor. To do well during such times, or at least hopefully well by God’s grace in God’s eyes, that is encouraging. But to do well in the little things, the common, ordinary, mundane matters of life, that is considered secondary.

Actually the ordinary is not secondary because  in those places no less than the others we need to walk with God and be faithful. Jesus tells us that those who are faithful in the small matters will be faithful in the larger ones. And if one is unfaithful in the ordinary, they won’t do well in God’s eyes in the extraordinary.

Christians often tend to see God more at work in so-called supernatural ways and less so in the common ordinary. I am of the persuasion that whatever was done in scripture can be done today in God’s will and working. Or more precisely put, and probably more accurately, at least all the gifts listed in the New Testament including healings, prophesying, miraculous powers. These not only can happen today, but should happen more than they do. Or maybe they actually do happen more than we realize. But God is no less present and active through the so-called ordinary gifts such as helps, adminstration, mercy, giving, etc.

In fact the Incarnation of Christ includes within it the truth that God is at work in the most common, ordinary places. In all of life. God became an embryo, running the full gamut of human existence (a Jurgen Moltmann quote I read, eloquently speaks of this). Everything God touched in that in Jesus is therefore blessed and in the end redeemed. Of course we enter into that blessing by faith, while at the same time acknowledging that in some way all has indeed changed since Easter, meaning since Jesus’ resurrection. The new creation is present in its beginning through Jesus. While human life and existence is touched most directly, in the end all of creation shares in the redemption that occurs at the resurrection when the sons and daughters of God in Jesus are revealed.

I used to think we needed to be open to the extraordinary and the movings of the Spirit in that, or otherwise–as I think Dallas Willard wrote–people will struggle with their faith. But I doubt that now. I think we need to see God as active in the most ordinary things. We are to walk with God, to follow Jesus, to walk by the Spirit no less during the ordinary times than the extraordinary.

This is a good reminder for me on a Monday, as I face another week and look to God for his help in the midst of my weakness.