Extraordinarily Mundane

lifeI was sitting in a meeting the other day when this thought struck me. I’m normally a pretty shallow thinker, but for some reason this particular moment was different. This thought is actually worthy of receiving “quotes,” so I present it here with them and a citation of my own name at the end. It makes me (normally a dumb guy), feel like I have something worth saying.

“Hidden within the mundane, we encounter the extraordinary.”

Life is found in the desert. Jesus came to the earth. And the extraordinary is within the mundane.

Knowing that God has promised, “I am with you always” (Mt 28:20), how could we dare to consider one moment more sacred than another? Aren’t they all lived out in His presence? Aren’t they all opportunities to honor Him and worship Him with the decisions we make and the activities we involve ourselves in?

In ancient culture, all of life was considered sacred. Even the mundane, was sacred. The word “profane,” came about to describe when someone took the sacred and treated it with irreverence. In many ways, the ancient idea that all of life is sacred has done a 180. Today, most people live as if the only sacred moment they have happens during the one hour of church they attend each week – with a few notable exceptions for weddings, funerals, and holiday services.

Brother Lawrence’s “Practicing the Presence is all about reclaiming this ancient way of life – where every moment is sacred.

Anyway, I think this quote applies to life in so many ways. For example:

Maybe I’m a heretic, but I believe that when the family is together to celebrate Christmas (or any other holiday), it is a sacred moment – God is no more present in the worship service which seeks to celebrate the same holiday, than he is around the dinner table in your home. “Within the mundane, we encounter the extraordinary.

I’ve heard many people complain about these social networks saying that they don’t care to know every detail of everyone’s life. “It’s just too much noise,” they say. But I feel very differently. Leonard Sweet refers to these networks as a “global commons.” I’ve also heard it described as the modern “water cooler.” Yes, it’s true that some “tweets” seem insignificant, but that doesn’t mean they’re of no value. These short updates reveal our lives to one another. “Within the mundane, we encounter the extraordinary.” Many times when I run into people (face to face), they refer to something I tweeted and begin a conversation. Prior to these networks, these moments were awkward. People didn’t know what to say (or know what we had in common). Within these mundane updates, I have encountered God and He has used them to impact my life. 140 characters or less is enough to encourage, express love and concern, pray, teach, rebuke, correct, train in righteousness, etc. These updates are “extraordinarily mundane.

Ministry Experience:
In my 20 years of ministry experience, I have often said, “We want to spend ‘quantity’ time together so that we can experience ‘quality’ moments.” The real ministry moments can’t be scheduled. In general, you can’t plan for them, orchestrate them, or manipulate an environment enough to create a real ministry moment. They just happened whenever God grabs a person. Since our lives are filled with the mundane (which is still a sacred moment), these times usually happened while you’re driving down the road together, or sitting at a fast food table, or when someone seeks you out and drives over to your house while you’re doing the laundry. “Within the mundane, we encounter the extraordinary.

Anyway, these were just some thoughts than ran through my head today.

6 Replies to “Extraordinarily Mundane”

  1. I'm at work but, your original premise is wrong. The extraordinary is never found within the mundane. As soon as you find it, the mundane becomes extraordinary..Many times the mundane can be found within the extraordinary if your looking for it.

  2. Wow Craig that's an impressive thought! But, of course, you always do play the devil's advocate and love to turn things around, don't ya?Love it, Steve. I'm doing a study by Priscilla Shirer, Tony Evan's daughter, about finding yourself in a 'wilderness' time of life. There are some similarities between your thoughts and hers. Love reading your rambling thoughts. I'll have to write some of my own, sometime.

  3. OK Craig – I know you like a good argument/fight. I'll take you on. You're not as big and bad as you like to think you are. (For those of you looking in, Craig and I are great friends. This all in good fun. Sarcasm and attitude just amp up the drama and the fun a bit.)

    You're right, my original premise is wrong, but your explanation is wrong too. I think Jackie is right – too much liberal use of the products in the pharmacy.Here's why you're wrong: You say, "the mundane becomes extraordinary." but the whole point of the original post was to say that every moment is extraordinary. It's all sacred. We profane it by the way we treat it.

    Therefore, I go back to my original premise which admittedly is wrong. We can't encounter the extraordinary within the mundane (as I stated) if there is no such thing as mundane, but the mundane can't "become" extraordinary (as you stated) if the mundane never existed. I wrote it from the perspective of modern man who has profaned these moments for most of his life. When I say "mundane" (which doesn't exist) he still understands, because he has profaned his moments and understands them as such. You haved proved my point, in order for you to believe that your "mundane" moments "became" extraordinary, they must have been "mundane". This means your extraordinary, sacred moments must have been profaned. What does that make you?

    Truth is. . . I'm no different.

    I guess that ultimately means we're both profane men in need of a Savior who can redeem our extraordinary moments from the grip of Satan who has used our own lives and sinful nature to profane them and make them mundane. In the hands of Jesus, they can become extraordinary moments once again!!OK Craig – There's the bell. Let's begin Round 2. Come out fighting.

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