As soon as I was old enough to truly consider what I wanted to do for a career, I was sure I never wanted a “desk job.” Sitting at a computer all day was for boring people, and life had way more exciting things to offer! I went to college with aspirations to do something big for the world. Something super humanitarian and cool-looking. I had a penchant for diversity and adventure, and I was ready to bring God along on my quest to solve the world’s problems. I definitely wasn’t going to wind up in a middle-class suburb where chain restaurants ran rampant and neighborhoods reeked of the American Dream. I was under the subtle impression that living for the Lord required being somewhere extraordinary – that He was more interested in using international non-profit starters, inner city teachers, and homeless shelter evangelists. Cognitively I knew that responding whole-heartedly to the Gospel didn’t require a certain measure of Christian glamor, but my heart struggled to find purpose in the everyday, mundane aspects of life.
Fast forward several years. Lo and behold, here I am, starting my sixth year at a desk job in the suburb where I live. I sit at a computer all day and I drive by chain restaurants at night. I send emails, attend meetings, and eat lunch in a break room. I don’t run a homeless shelter, but I do run spreadsheets, and websites, and reports. And it’s really not the worst thing in the world. In fact, I love it! Despite all of my preconceived ideas of what my extensive Christian checklist would look like today, I’m so thankful that God, in his sovereignty, put me where he wanted to use me in this season. He wanted me to be a kind voice on the other side of the phone, and an encouraging co-worker when the workload is stressful. He asked me to find joy in making copies because my attitude is what will make much of Him. He picked me to be a patient question-answerer, and a helpful paperwork provider. Do I make mistakes with my words and my actions? Yes! Do I get tired of doing the same things every day? Yes! But I can no longer afford to view my role on this earth as run-of-the-mill.
I believe God calls us all to GO! He wants to use us everywhere. But I believe he especially wants to use us in the places where we already are – in the everyday and the mundane. He tells us to make disciples “as we are going.” This is a command for non-profit starters and email writers alike. For diaper changers, teachers, teeth cleaners, farmers, number crunchers, and clothing folders. There is something so exciting about a God who gives us unexpected callings in individual places for unique purposes. Not long ago, I ran across a prayer from a book called The Valley of Vision that gave me such a good dose of this perspective.
Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, the exceeding wonder of grace.
A gospel this extraordinary completely swallows the idea of an ordinary day. As a follower of Christ, there is nothing dull about a single second of life on this earth. There is no such thing as a boring way to serve the Lord. I constantly need this reminder for myself! There are people in my “places” who have never experienced the exceeding wonder of God’s grace. There are people on the phone, at the meeting, and in the parking lot who have yet to receive the exceeding righteousness of salvation. We are all in places with people in need of the Gospel. And God, in his holiness, chooses to use us, in our sinfulness, to display his life-saving hope to the world who needs Him. And if I can participate in that extraordinary story from my wheel-y office chair in a small Missouri suburb, I think that sounds like a pretty cool adventure.
With all of this going for us, my dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort. 1 Corinthians 15:58 (MSG Paraphrase)
Melody is a lover of laughter, nature, music, and pie. I’m a happy wife to my best friend, Tim. In my free time you might find me shopping at thrift stores, humming to songs, and taking pictures of clouds. I love people and all pretty things – I believe God has gifted us with inexhaustible beauty on earth and I love to find joy in his unique creativity.
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