Daily Devotions

Finding God in the Mundane

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Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:7)

 

In the mid-1990’s, I had the opportunity to visit Israel twice. They were special opportunities. It gave me the ability to visualize the Biblical accounts. But, if you asked me, were these two of the most spiritual moments in my life, I would have to say, “no.” Personally, I haven’t found the supposedly big moments to be the most transformative moments in my life. For me, the regular routines, the mundane moments, have been the most spiritually impactful in my life.

 

In the big moments, it is all about me. When we take a trip, or even time off, the attention is on me. I get to do what, when I want to do it. I am focused on my own interests and my own entertainment. I’ve found, at least in my life, that God tends to use me more when I am not the focus.

 

A morning prayer, a prayerful bike ride in the woods, or even more, the opportunity to help someone, is the moment when God seems to feel most present in my life. This doesn’t make for an exciting devotional. But it does make for an exciting life. If I have to wait for a trip around the world to find God, I spend the vast majority of my life, waiting. If God is most imminent in the mundane moments, then God is just around the next corner. Every second is exciting, never knowing when the next epiphany will be experienced.

 

Today, prayerfully reflect on the moments in your life when, and where, God felt present to you. Don’t just let the memory slide through your mind. Reflect on it in detail. Remember where you were, and what you were doing when you felt God’s presence. Who else was with you? Did you do anything, or need anything? The more of these specific memories you can reflect on, and even journal, the more you will know how to experience God’s presence in the future. I am willing to bet there are more mundane moments of spiritual enlightenment, than in huge vacations.

Appreciate the Little Things

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So that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7)

I just finished writing about thirty-something Christmas cards to my staff. Sitting down and carving out the time seemed daunting and exhausting. Yet, once I got started I really enjoyed the process, because writing those cards reminded me of just how great the individuals are that I get to work with each day.

Even the Preschool teachers, some of whom I have barely met, are very talented teachers. I know that, because I see their ability and care in the faces of the children they teach. I am truly blessed to go to work each day, and hear the child laughter. Almost every day I get to yell out, “Good morning, kids,” and they wave and say, “hi,” as loud as I greeted them. There is nothing as wonderful as experiencing the joy in the faces of small children. Their excitement is infectious.

I share this because there are amazing, blessed, little moments in each day, if you just take the time to notice. I had to pick up something at Target earlier today. There was this little guy in a stroller just laughing, and I commented to his mom about how fun and sweet her little boy was. I could tell the comment made her feel proud. The child’s laugh made me feel joyous, and reminding a tired mom how special her little guy was, made her feel a little better. It wasn’t a momentous moment, but it helped make my day special.

Today, take some time and focus on the little "joy" moments. Slow down just enough to notice a child in a stroller, or a clerk taking the extra time to be caring, while checking you out at the grocery store. Go the extra mile, and thank them for being nice, and doing their job well. A couple days ago, I thanked a young man for doing such a good job of bagging my groceries. He looked so appreciative. A kind word will bring the other person joy, and fill your heart as well. A fulfilling Christmas season is found not in the big moment, but in the little moments, like writing a card, interacting with a mom, or offering a compliment. Put enough little things together, and you have something huge. Go out of your way today!

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