meaning purpose

Substance in the Daily Grind

1:22 PMHeather

Laundry. Cooking. Cleaning. Grocery Shopping. Paying bills.

Image courtesy of Unsplash
These are the tedious and mundane tasks that make up the bulk of my existence. As a mom of teenagers, I've graduated from the days of feeding, changing, chasing, and bathing. Basically, my life is one of luxury now that I can actually go the bathroom by myself.

So here I am. Living the life of luxury I envisioned when my kids were toddlers and preschoolers. I'm smack dab in that season that once felt light years away, having just sent my oldest to college.

Imagine my shock when I arrived here at last. And found that the years of in-between, waiting for the next thing, feels more like I'm still waiting for the next thing. It's what we do, after all. We are prone to spending every season thinking the next one will somehow bring a sense of completion and satisfaction. We seek value and worth and purpose in what we think is just around the corner.

Until you reach age of looking back and realizing the substance you missed was in all the days in-between. You realize that the profound and meaningful was tucked away and camouflaged within the tired goodnight kisses and the messes made from mischief. 

I was reading in Acts 7 yesterday when I saw it -- this living in the daily grind where we spend the majority of our lives.

"When Moses was 40 years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites," (Acts 7:23).

After another 40 years had passed, "an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai," (Acts 7:30).

And "he led them out of Egypt, at the Red Sea and for 40 years in the desert," (Acts 7:36).

40 years. Then 40 years. Then 40 years. When we think of Moses, we tend to think of his life as a linear series of events. A baby in a basket. A murderer on the run who ends up tending sheep. A man standing barefoot by a bush. A man walking on the ocean's dry land. And a man with the tablets coming down from a mountain. 

I never before had seen this pattern of 40 years, three times, separating the events by which we tend to define Moses' life. I never before considered these 14,600 days in-between the big events.

40 years in-between lavish privilege and the people of his true identity.

40 years in-between shame and guilt and a calling from the Great I AM.

40 years in-between God's purpose and God's promised land that he would never enjoy.

The bulk of the days of Moses were spent getting up daily to do the usual and lying down tired each evening. The life of a son and a husband and a father and brother. The day-to-day nondescript, which the Bible omits from our reading.

The same will be said of us. Our life might be remembered in retrospect by some noteworthy, isolated points in time. But the majority of our life is spent in the 40 years, and then 40 years, and all the days in between.

So what matters most? Where do we find significance within our usual lives? What is the content of the in-between where we might thrive? Is it waiting for the next big thing?

Where Moses found significance in all the mundane was not living off those glory days, but in the daily seeking of God’s glory. 

Mountain highs and dry ocean lows only get you so far, in the entirety of a lifetime.

Moses shows us what to do to find value in the in-between days. 

Because Exodus tells us that Moses spent those days meeting with God. Moses trekked up the mountain and sought out the Lord's presence and talked with God. 

And he left changed. He left with a face glowing and a heart filled and a radiance obvious to others. 

You see, the miracle of God in Moses’ life was not just the memorable days, but that he, the Great I Am, chose to forge a relationship with Moses in all the days in-between. 

God's purpose for this "no ordinary child" (Exodus 2:2) was fulfilled, not just through the miraculous and marvelous, but in the day-to-day seeking and finding. 

For a handful of Moses' days, it can be said that the extraordinary happened.

For the rest of the ordinary days, the extraordinary occurred when Moses met with God. 

This relationship was the substance of Moses' life. This relationship was the joy and hope and peace found within the daily grind. 

In every regular, average day in-between, Moses made it a priority to put his hope and his purpose and his daily worth in the God of the eternity to come. 

Moses’ day-to-day-to-day routine is omitted from the Scriptures. Except for one thing.

The way he walked through each day choosing to seek out the God of the burning bush and God of the glorious deliverance and the God of the Promised Land, right there in day after day after day that made up the majority of his lifetime.

This is the stuff that makes up an extraordinary life and gives it purpose. 

Not the big flashy days for the record books. But being changed in the daily grind by time spent with the Author of Life.

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