There are a lot of misconceptions out there about Christianity. From the validity of the Bible to the purpose of the church, people have thoughts that can tend to be too far left from the real truth. A misconception that I have seen in my own life for many years is that the Christian life is full of big moments. Let me step back for a moment to give you a glimpse of what I mean...
The Old Days
When I became a believer in 2010, I had the misconception that the Christian life is full of the extraordinary. I had thoughts that I would pray and see God move in incredible ways (with hardly any need to "wait upon the Lord" of course), feel God's presence every time I pray or read the Bible, and that every time I shared the Gospel with someone they would be converted within a week. I am now wiser enough to know that God never promised any of those things. In fact, the more I live the Christian life, I am finding that God works more in ordinary ways than He does extraordinary ways.
Ordinary Isn't Bad
This realization came to me about a year and a half ago when I read Michael Horton's book Ordinary. In the book, he talks about how God is at work through the ordinary means of grace. God pours out His grace into our lives and is at work in us as we do the ordinary things of everyday life. So what does this look like practically speaking? A couple of months ago I committed to doing more around my home so that my wife could be freed up to do things that she enjoyed and found refreshing after she got off at work. This meant that the first thing I do when I get home is take out the trash, do the dishes, wipe the counters, vacuum, change light bulbs, and a host of other tedious things. I have seen God change me through committing to do something so ordinary like things around the house. He gave me a greater care for my wife and appreciation for all she does in and outside of our home. He instilled in me a greater work ethic and discipline to do things even when I don't feel like it. He taught me the discipline of slowing down and breaking away from my constant non-stop pace. God met me in the ordinary. But this is not easy for us. Because we are so oriented to want to 'change the world', we bypass the ordinary. As Horton says, "Everyone wants to change the world but no one wants to wash the dishes." So what are we to do?
"The Christian life is this: doing ordinary things through the extraordinary power of Jesus Christ."
Commit Yourself To The Ordinary
We desperately need to view life in light of what it truly is: small moments. Our lives are made up of small moments. There may be a handful of big moments in our lives, but for the majority, we live in a world made up of small moments. Therefore, there is no such thing as an insignificant moment. There is no conversation that is 'too ordinary'. We must view every moment as a God-given opportunity to bring Him glory, regardless of how small it may seem. Zack Eswine wrote about this in his book The Imperfect Pastor:
"As you enter ministry, you will be tempted to orient your desires toward doing large things in famous ways as fast and as efficiently as you can. But take note. A crossroads waits for you. Jesus is that crossroads. Because almost anything in life that truly matters will require you to do small, mostly overlooked things, over a long period of time with Him. The pastoral vocation, because it focuses on helping people cultivate what truly matters, is therefore no exception."
The Christian life is this: doing ordinary things through the extraordinary power of Jesus Christ. That's it. We cannot lose sight of this, because if we do, we lose sight of what matters most: Bringing Him glory in all that we do. So do those dishes, clean the house, teach the kids, watch a movie with your spouse, go on a walk with a friend, and do it all for the glory of Him who has called you to something extraordinary: Himself.
I am a Husband to Clarissa, Pastor at Liberty Baptist Church, reader of many books, and tweeter at @brad_merchant.