Extraordinary in the Ordinary

By: Kristen L. McNulty

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In the book "Rumors of Another World", Philip Yancey wrote:

“Far more difficult, I find, is the faith required in the other direction: to recognize something of lasting value in each of the mundane tasks. Did I treat the airline ticketing agent, the UPS driver, my readers, with the attention they deserve? In my tightly controlled day, did I remain open to the possibility of the extraordinary breaking in on the ordinary?”

The questions the Philip Yancey poses here are of great importance. You see, all too often in the Christian life we look for God in the big stuff: the revival meetings, the mega-city churches, the large-scale outreaches, the flashy ministries, and now while I'm not saying that there is necessarily something wrong with any of those things, most things of lasting value are found in the mundane.

When Jesus walked the earth He almost went unnoticed by many of the people in His day. Why? Because they weren't looking for a man who was a carpenters son and who had fishermen as followers. They were looking for a king riding in with authority who would deliver Israel from their oppressors. Instead they got a humble man who had little political influence and spent most of his time walking the streets and meeting with the untouchables of society.

Knowing this, it kind of makes me wonder how many times we miss out on encountering Jesus in our day to day's because we're looking for Him in the wrong places. Maybe, like Philip Yancey pointed out, we should be taking a closer look at those mundane tasks in our lives and keep ourselves "open to the possibility of the extraordinary breaking in on the ordinary".

This isn't an easy thing to do. In our society we are so busy running from one thing to the next that who really has the time to slow down? We get up and it's like we're in a race the moment our feet hit the floor. There are classes to attend, jobs to work, chores to finish, ministries to lead, and if we're lucky, a few minutes to pray or look at our Bibles before hitting the sack.

But maybe a lack of time isn't the biggest problem. Maybe our eyes would be opened if only we would look for Him in everything. In the line at the grocery store. In the classroom while studying chemistry. On the job. On the road. In the malls.

In the book, The Art of Being, Linford Detweiler wrote:

"What makes for a good [life] story is not necessarily a thrill-a-minute plot, but an eye for detail, loaded moments. It's the so-called mundane that is most often chock-full of the eternal."

Knowing this, it's up to you and I to open up our eyes and hearts and invite Jesus to break into our ordinary with the extraordinary. Jesus invites us all to follow Him, and for many that comes down to something as simple as opening their spiritual eyes.

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This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.