Ordinary is Not Insignificant

Updated: May 13, 2020

I was surprised to find a picture of myself while scrolling through photos yesterday. I’ve never really mastered the art of the selfie, so I don’t often have pictures of myself on my phone. One of my kids obviously had taken this picture. My hair was in a ponytail, totally undone and back for purely chore related reasons. I was putting away laundry in our closet, which is one of the many monotonous and seemingly insignificant things I do pretty much every day of the week.

That picture got me to thinking about the ordinary moments that no one ever sees-the moments that if we are honest, make up about 90% of our day. As a culture (and this includes me) we have forgotten how to glory in the ordinary. Not only have we forgotten, but we often see these moments as something to either avoid or just get through altogether. We (and again I mean me) carelessly chip away at these ordinary chores and daily realities of life as though they were inconsequential.

Just because something is ordinary, does not mean it is insignificant.

The David, a marble statue carved by Michelangelo in the 16th century was truly an exquisite work of art. To see it in person would take your breath away. It quite literally fills the entire room, with each curve perfectly reflecting the light pouring in from the ceiling. There is nothing ordinary about this statue. There is nothing insignificant about the small chips and shavings of marble that once surrounded it on the floor. Each piece represents a moment of intention, a moment of purpose, from the artist.

When Michelangelo sculpted The David it was by purposefully shaving and chipping away one small ordinary piece of marble at a time. He did so with the knowledge that each day of ordinary work would one day result in something exquisite.

I can't help think of how this sculpting process applies to my life right now as a mom. I could hack away at these ordinary moments, believing the lie that doing laundry, waiting in the school pick-up line, or playing lego star ships and barbies for the 1,000th time is insignificant or inconsequential. Or, I can choose to tackle these ordinary moments with the kind of love, purpose, and joy that Michelangelo did as he carved his masterpiece; and, every once in a while, look past the ankle deep debris to see God's faithfulness in all of it....and that although most of it was very ordinary, none of it was insignificant.

This job [motherhood] has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else I may learn God's way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.
-Elisabeth Elliot

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