Prayer For The Week of May 9 — Ordinary Lives For The Glory of God

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Ordinary Lives

Yesterday in the homily my priest said, “If you could look around this room and see each face, you’d notice what I notice from up here. We are all very ordinary. Not one of us stands out as more important than the others. We are all just ordinary people. The real miracle of the Church is that it is still here.” (Think about that a minute.)

Yes, all God has to work with is us–these extraordinarily ordinary people. That’s not a lot to work with, it would seem.

But, it’s enough.

We sometimes think in a dichotomy. The “important” Christians that God uses to build His Kingdom such as pastors and missionaries and nuns and evangelists, etc. vs. ordinary yokels who just do the regular secular work like grow potatoes or mend shirts or sell insurance. But this is false. God uses all of us to build His Kingdom. We all have a part in it–regardless of vocation. A pastor, a farmer. A nun, a mom. An apologist, a mechanic. Roles are not the thing. Obedience is.

A Christian is one who will follow the Lamb wherever He leads–even when it doesn’t make sense, even when we feel particularly useless.

I was talking to someone at party recently who felt that maybe she was wasting her education and not contributing enough to the family or the greater society. I said, “What are you talking about? You already gave the world a beautiful child who will do amazing things and make the world better. Your contribution to society is taken care of. You can relax now.” Tears came to her eyes from sheer relief.

Ordinary people. Ordinary roles. Ordinary things. Extraordinary God.

We can tend to take a rather utilitarian view of things. We can start to evaluate everything according to its usefulness. But this isn’t God’s way. God isn’t just about using people as a means to an end. He is about relationship and heart and passion and connection. And for that we do not have to prove our worth the God. He has already made the determination of our worth when He sent His Son to die for us.

“Notice God’s unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say – God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is.”  (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10)

For me the trick is to learn to appreciate my own very-ordinariness. To see this, too, as a gift. To see the ways in which I can turn each tiny little ordinary act into what it should be: worship.  The trick is to be ordinary for the sake of love. (H/T: St. Therese!) So, I can get up in the morning and make coffee for the glory of God. And nurse the baby for the glory of God. And sweep the kitchen, hoe the garden, share the Good News, hug my kids, bake bread, call on a neighbor, pray for the sick, feed the poor, take a nap for the glory of God. God isn’t up in heaven constantly evaluating my day-to-day functionality. Usefulness is not the missing fruit of the Spirit.

God puts His saints where they will glorify Him.

“May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.”
―Teresa of Ávila

Today perhaps we can pray for a little bit of God-vision so that we may see the eternal value in the ordinary stuff of this earth. May we see the miraculous nature of the day-to-day and do it all for the glory of God. Amen?

“Ordinary things are more valuable than extraordinary things; 
nay, they are more extraordinary….
The sense of the miracle of humanity itself 
should be always more vivid to us 
than any marvels of power, intellect, art, or civilization.”  
(GK Chesterton)

  1. Georgina Tanefski - May 10, 2016

    I have heard this message before, but always need reminding….I should be more merciful with my children when I have to repeat myself ;/
    Thank you Daja.  Very timely for me.  
    God bless The Provision Room and all who visit here.

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