Recently my mind is filled with quotes that I have heard and held onto. One of them was given as a response to a woman asking another woman how she finds time in her overloaded schedule to draw near to God. She replied,
"By bringing the Glorious into the mundane."
This reminded me of the mental picture I have of Susanna Wesley, since the time I first heard that she would sit with her apron thrown over her head in the midst of a long day to take a moment to meet with the Lord.
And this quote and this picture made me remember that I need communion with the Lord everyday, everywhere.
Like possibly some of you I have longed for a quiet long period of time with the Lord lately. I go about my day wishing for this respite and forgetting that He IS with me and I can go to him anywhere at anytime. "Bringing the Glorious into the mundane" is nothing new. The Holy Spirit is with us in the mundane everyday already. He is there while you work with your 2 year old, trying relentlessly to get her to see her need to go on the potty. He is reminding you that you still have dishes on the stove that need washing, when you thought you were finished. He is listening to you muse on something someone said to you at church last night while you fold yet another load of laundry.
"Bringing the Glorious into the mundane" is just tapping into a deep brook that is already at your disposal.
If we are honest with ourselves, truly honest, we sometimes feel like we have a list of obligations to fill. Being a "need meeter" is a fun, tiresome, worthwhile task. The problem comes when we add our relationship with the Lord along with our "Things to do today" list and find him sandwiched in between "ironing" and "packing school lunches." We begin to look at time with the Lord as somethings to be "completed" or checked off of our list so we can smile at the end of the day and feel like we have all of our "ducks in a row" so to speak. We have conquered another day. We are on top of things and we feel a sense of accomplishment.
I have a small ring of good friends. You know the type. They have been with me forever, know my faults and shortcomings but act like I am the sweetest thing that ever walked the earth. In some wonderful way they actually believe that I am something special, and in turn, I them. And as is usually the case with these good friends, you never get to see them as often as you would like to, but when you DO see them, you fall all over them and just seek to find the first thing to sit down on so you can talk each other's ears off completely. There is never time enough to tell them, in only the way that you can, how much has been going on in your life. You can begin with present day and in the same breath laugh with them about something you just remembered from years ago. Time seems to speed by and all too soon you are in the driveway waving them "goodbye," missing them unbearably and watching them go until their car is no longer visible.
Sometimes we look at God as a friend who is visiting this afternoon at such and such a time. He will only be here for a short time and we must cram all of our thoughts, ideas, excitement, worry and the like, into a small chunk of "allotted" time.
Why do we do that????
I will interject here that I do believe that we need long periods of time with God. Time where we are still and silent and we wait on Him. I believe that we need to get into our Bibles each day and pray longer than a prayer thanking God over oatmeal with one eye open watching for anyone eating too soon.
My bone to pick is with the one who started calling the time we meet with God, "quiet time." You know, "I need my quiet time with the Lord." "I'll do that after I have my quiet time with the Lord." "This is where I have my quiet time with God." AGAIN, I do believe that there should be moments where we are still before the Lord, but the emphasis on a "quiet time" pushes us to believe that that is the ONLY time we can meet with God. The only time we can think of Him, talk to Him, think on His Word, etc. Goodness knows that in this small house on Haywood, there ain't a whole lotta quiet goin' on. There have been times when the Lord woke me very early in the morning and I listened, prayed and was thankful for it, but for the most part I am seeking His voice amidst children, cleaning and laundry.
We also feel such a guilt as a Mom if we have not been able to have a desired spot, a haven where the birds are chirping out our bedroom window, where the sun illuminates the pages of our Bible, and where if we strain, we can faintly hear the angelic choir lifting "Hosanna's" to the Lord.
Daily prayer and Bible reading might look more like, "One child on your knee, a broken down blue chair, continual wiping of a nose and covering of a cough leading you to accidentally bump the page you were on and turning you to somewhere in Revelation."
How totally "UNHOLY." Right?
Why is this not a normal portrayal of a daily walk with the Lord? I guarantee you that if you happened upon Mrs. Wesley sitting covered in her own apron, it would not strike you as a "Divine appointment" either.......but it was, and it is, and apart from this time in your day, there are wonderfully many more hours and minutes and seconds that God is there, willing to listen and available!
I have told you before how the Holy Spirit prompted me while I was ironing. That was the "Glorious meeting me in the mundane."
How upset I would be, and saddened if Joel waited for some "perfect situation" to seek my company. The kids needed to be dressed a certain way, the house needed to be in a certain order, the dinner ready, and of course I needed my best hair day and make-up to enjoy his presence.
No, I love that kiss goodbye in the morning. That quick word of encouragement from him telling me that he just knows that I can get that skirt done if I put my mind to it. I love that call after his last class wraps-up, just seeing how my day has been, or telling me something he was thinking about, or asking me to have some work clothes ready for him so he can stop by and pick them up on his way to fix a bus at the shop. All throughout the day I am talking to him, laughing with him, waiting on his call, or calling him myself. You know we DO have a scheduled time to meet. Every Thursday night we have a "date night" where we sit and take time out for just us. And sometimes we are just quiet and enjoy each other's company. I cannot imagine what our relationship would be like if we waited for this time ONLY to meet with each other, or if I felt like I HAD to meet with him or he me for that matter! But in order to cultivate my relationship with him I need to meet with him in the midst of my crazy day, several times a day.
How much more does the Lord, the one who knew us before we were even born, want to speak with us, spend time with us, enjoy our company. How much more should we desire HIS?
I challenge you to look for ways to bring the "Glorious into your mundane." Throw out your Spiritual "To Do" list and begin a new.
The mundane never looked so exciting, huh? :)