I spent the morning packing lunches, sorting through my kids’ toys, and loading the dishwasher. The day feels like nearly every other day. Sometimes, in the midst of the chores, I pause, look around at my life, and realize how it just feels so ordinary.
I love my life, and I’m thankful for everything God has given me. But most of my days involve tasks like trying to meet deadlines and making sure the six humans and one canine in my house all get fed. Even as a writer, I often sit down at my computer when it’s time to work on an essay or an article and complain, “I have nothing interesting to say—because nothing has happened!”
I’ve had seasons of life that have felt extraordinarily hard for me—the death of loved ones, depression, postpartum anxiety—and I’m grateful I’m not in those seasons now. I’ve also had “highs,” those periods of life where God grants a harvest, a time when we see the fruit of the work he’s been doing all along.
But what about the middle seasons? What about those times when we’re just doing more or less the same thing day after day after day?
Sometimes in the middle, I can grow weary. I can lose sight of a feeling of purpose. What’s really the point of all the items on the to-list I make on an ordinary Thursday?
Scripture tells the stories of kings and prophets and disciples who have become household names, pillars of our faith. But consider that during their lifetime, so many of them lived very ordinary lives. Maybe some, like David, eventually came into a public position. But he started as a shepherd boy. Peter eventually performed miracles and wrote epistles. But he was a fisherman. Ruth has an Old Testament book named after her, but her daily life mostly involved gathering food and trying to keep herself and her mother-in-law alive.
God can bring us from ordinary places to public places. But he can also use us during ordinary times. He can see us when no one else does. He will one day reward our faithfulness even when faithfulness looks like cleaning another dish or making another meal or meeting another deadline. Paul, after all, encouraged the church in Corinth that what they do because of the resurrection through the power of the Spirit is not in vain. After a whole section on the reality of the resurrection, Paul said, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Our world seems to be fueled by news headlines and Instagram highlights. And when we don’t have news or highlights to share, when our work goes unnoticed or another day passes without a memorable moment to hold onto, we can all too easily grow discouraged. But the truth is that, as Tish Harrison Warren put it, “If I am to spend my whole life being transformed by the good news of Jesus, I must learn how grand, sweeping truths—doctrine, theology, ecclesiology, Christology—rub against the texture of an average day. How I spend this ordinary day in Christ is how I will spend my Christian life.”
Our use in the kingdom isn’t limited to what’s a highlight or what’s newsworthy. Our use in the kingdom is about what God does through us and how we walk in faithfulness each and every day—even the very ordinary ones.
 Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2016), 24.
About the Author:
Sarah J. Hauser is a writer and speaker living in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, four kids, and crazy dog. Through theology, stories, and the occasional recipe, she helps others find nourishment for their souls. She loves cooking but rarely follows a recipe exactly, and you can almost always find her with a cup of coffee in hand. Read more at sarahjhauser.com, check out her newsletter (sarahjhauser.com/subscribe), or find her on Instagram (@sarah.j.hauser).
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