Finding Purpose in the Mundane
I was complaining to a couple of our staff the other day. I know, I know. I should rise above. Be a better leader. Be positive. I try to follow the advice of Zig Ziglar when he wrote, “Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining - it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn't solve any problems.”
Try though I do, sometimes I’m not the best example of living with an attitude of gratitude. I look at my robust calendar and a sense of drudgery comes over me. Day after day, week after week, meeting after meeting. See? I’m doing it again . . . complaining.
Ever been there? Sure you have.
This past June, June 15 to be exact, I read Oswald Chambers’ entry in My Utmost for His Highest. And what title did he give for his short, daily devotion? “In the Matter of Drudgery.” I think he wrote that for me.
Chambers articulated one of the capstone challenges of my life—finding purpose in the mundane. Here are a few of his reflections:
- Drudgery is the touchstone of character.
- The great hindrance in spiritual life is that we will look for big things to do.
- Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist and began to wash his disciples’ feet.
- There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task.
- Routine is God’s way of saving us between our times of inspiration.
- Do not expect God always to give you His thrilling minutes but learn to live in the domain of drudgery by the power of God.
I love that—“the domain of drudgery.” You and I may spend many hours in that domain, but it is there we forge our character by the grace and power of God. So, the next time I start to complain about drudgery, I need to stop and give thanks that God is giving me so many opportunities to become more like Jesus.
“For this very reason, you must do your utmost from your side and see that your faith carries with it real goodness of life. Your goodness must be accompanied by knowledge, your knowledge by self-control, your self-control by the ability to endure. Your endurance too must always be accompanied by devotion to God; that, in turn, must have in it the quality of brotherliness, and your brotherliness must lead on to Christian love. If you have these qualities existing and growing in you then it means that knowing our Lord Jesus Christ has not made your lives either complacent or unproductive. The man whose life fails to exhibit these qualities is short-sighted—he can no longer see the reason why he was cleansed from his former sins” (2 Peter 1:5-9, Phillips).