Creativity in the Mundane
Last week I wrote about how there is glory in the mundane. All our average weekly experiences are just as spirit-filled as going to some big conference with high profile speakers and professional worship teams.
There’s nothing wrong with conferences and professional worship teams…but there’s nothing more spirit-filled about them compared to your average everyday life of picking up the kids from soccer practice or spending an evening balancing your checkbook.
Creative Conception Boredom
Although there’s glory in the more boring parts of life just as there’s glory on being a missionary or a popular itinerant preacher, it’s not a lot of fun to be bored. Living a normal life of doing the laundry, going off to work, and playing the same board game with your kids every evening can get monotonous.
But being bored can be a tool.
We teach our children that boredom is a blessing. Unless we get bored, we’ll never have an original idea to keep us entertained. Although I’ve not done the research, I can imagine that some of the most profound inventions were created out of some aspect of boredom. The late Steve Jobs, although wanting to revolutionize the world with the personal computer, likely would never have had the idea to build that first computer in his garage unless he was sitting around bored wondering what to do.
The mundane is a blessing in that it causes us to look deep into our hearts and discover just what it is that makes us tick.
For many Christians, the notion of “God’s will” is an elusive one. To know God’s will for one’s life is the principalis finis — or the main goal — in Christian living.
Knowing God’s Will
God’s will is not a mystery. It’s simply a matter of looking deep inside yourself and figuring out what it is that you want to do. Wait. That doesn’t sound very spiritual. It doesn’t. That’s because it’s not. Not really.
When I was fresh out of high school I joined a ministry based out of Texas that, for it’s primary function, existed to be a place for young people to spend a year seeking God’s will for their lives.
There was so much talk back then, maybe even more than today, about getting a vision for God’s will for your life. The idea was to get the vision as early as possible, create a 5 and then 10 year plan, and never give up. That way a person wouldn’t waste any time in doing what it was that God wanted them to do.
I remember the leaders made it so difficult. It was like chasing the elusive white rabbit of destiny. We took classes, we fasted, we prayed, we memorized scripture, and had lengthy discussions about just what it meant to gain God’s will for our lives.
For me, I wa convinced that God was uninterested in showing me his will. I couldn’t get it. Like so many young people, I was too interested in too many things to really nail it down. And like so many young people in the church, I was absolutely convinced that it would not be God’s will for me to have a secular job and make money. That was heresy!
The general rule of thumb back then was that if you didn’t want to do something. If it was the one thing you couldn’t imagine doing with your life, you were likely being called to do that thing.
It was such bondage. We’d say, “I have no desire to move to Africa and live a lonely life out in the bush, so that’s clearly what God wants me to do. I have to kill the flesh in order to wrap my head around God’s will for my life.” Then we’d fast longer, pray harder, memorize some obscure scripture taken fully out of context…you know…something about suffering or going lower and lower in order to be accepted and loved by God.
God’s will is not elusive.
It’s not some fantastical idea that you have to strain and strive for in order to get it.
You can get it right now. That’s right…right now you can get God’s will for your life.
Sit back. Close your eyes. And think this thought: What would you do with your life if money didn’t matter? What’s the one thing (or group of related things) that you would like to do every day or every week? If you could make money doing something, anything, what would you like to do?
The answer to those questions will be God’s will for your life.
See. You didn’t have to fast or strive or memorize Leviticus in order to attain it. God’s will was right there inside you all along.
John Crowder, in an article titled Christological Ecstasy, writes this on the subject: “We have considered the will of God to be against our human will–quite often pictureing our deepest desires to be in direct conflict or contradiction to God. But in reality, there is a heavy duty ecstasy that comes along with doing His will because we are created for a divine synergy of the deepest levels of our longing.”
Generally speaking, we are taught that if we enjoy something, it’s probably not from God. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! God is a ravenous LOVER of people! He’s been hijacked by his love for us! Gladness is at the center of His heart (Heb 1:9).
Crowder goes on to write, “What if He is the one who has kindled our core desires, while the gnomic twist simply offered us cheap, unsatisfying fixes to those infinite longings? Let me clarify: when I speak of the will, I am speaking of our deepest heart’s desire that results in action.”
God has placed his will inside you and it looks a whole lot like the things you love to do. Do you love doing ministry and helping people? That’s God’s will for you. Do you enjoy starting businesses and making money and employing people and encouraging them and mentoring them? That’s God’s will for you! Do you want to be a stay at home mom or dad and raise kids and manage a home and personal finances? That’s also God’s will.
God has planted his will deep inside you so that you will do the very thing that He has willed for you to do! Going out and being a miserable missionary to Nigeria because that’s the Christian thing to do is against His will.
You cannot make God like you any more than He already likes you! You can’t work up any more favor by sacrificing your desire (God’s will) for something that you don’t enjoy.
For the sake of length, we will finish this post next week when I write about work and enjoyment and how both are the will of God.
For this week, go into your work week meditating on how good God has been to you. Take a few moments each day and ask yourself the questions I provided for you. I bet by Friday you’ll be closer to the will of God than you’ve ever been in your life.