I’ve been thinking a lot this week about finding God in the everyday moments of our lives. Actually, I’ve been thinking a lot about it for years.
Last week I talked about memorable moments — those moments which are seared into our souls by the weight of their impact. But the truth is, those moments are few and far between. Most of life happens in the forgettable moments and God works in those everyday circumstances of our lives just as much, if not more, than the memorable moments, it just may not be as obvious to us.
Years ago I was driving into town focused on myself, my worries, when suddenly from the back seat our 3-year-old son Ian piped up and said, “Look Mama, it’s God!”
I looked up at the sky and there in front of us, rays of light were streaming through the clouds just like the pictures of heaven in Ian’s children’s Bible. God had chosen to show up right there, in the middle of a normal day, doing nothing more exciting than driving home, clear enough that a toddler could see him. Turns out, it’s not that hard to find God in the everyday moments of life.
I think we prefer mountain tops to everyday, humdrum, work-a-day life. But if it was only in the over-the-top moments that God spoke to us he would be quite an awful lot, because the vast majority of life is lived in the monotony of dirty dishes and laundry and visits to the gas station and making coffee and picking up the kids and clocking in, day after day.
But those moments — no matter how monotonous — are precious. We just don’t always notice their value.
We have a friend, Seth, whom my husband grew up with, who has been fighting stage 4 cancer for years. It began in his eye and now has spread to his liver, his abdomen, his ribs, his spine, his lymph nodes.
No, this is not an everyday moment. But his wife, a blogger and photographer, wrote one week ago, “Live well every single day, even if all feels lost. ... Live well every single blessed day, even when you’re exhausted. ... Live well every joyous day, because this is your life. This is your chance.” (Amy Beth Pederson)
Every single day we face moments, regular unexciting minutes and hours, when we are called to live because this is our life. We cannot let those minutes go unrecognized, unfelt. We cannot allow the allure of the shouted mountaintop moments to drown out the whispers of everyday life.
Our friends, Seth and Amy, are facing what no one ever wants to face. Amy’s reminder to seize the everyday, to embrace the normal, to live while you have the chance, called to me like a siren. Or, rather, they drew me in with a fierce embrace.
Don’t let today go by the wayside. God can break through your clouds. God can make this moment, right now, when you’re scooping out the cat box, be meaningful. Listen to the whispers. Take the chances. This is your life.
It is in a myriad of little steps of faith that we grow the most. It is the whispers of God that we must strive to hear.
“A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper. When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there.” 1 Kings 19:12,13 The Message
Go to the mouth of the cave, my friends, when you hear the whisper. Stop what you’re doing, and let God speak. Live well, every single blessed day.
Gretchen O’Donnell is a freelance writer who lives in Worthington with her husband and three children. She has a master’s degree from Bethel Seminary and enjoys writing about the things she sees and applying theological truths to everyday situations. Her column, The Disheveled Theologian, is published weekly. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.