Discovering Beauty in THE MUNDANE

Post Grad Duck #18

One of my favorite singers has this lyric in a song that goes “Life is not about the mountain tops, it’s the walking in between…” He’s right. Of course life is full of moments of amazing highs and sometimes all too depressing lows, but so much of life is just…flat. It’s the day to day, the in and out. To put it frankly, life is not always exciting.

When I was a kid I would definitely have labeled myself as a day dreamer. My head was constantly in the clouds. I genuinely thought that all of my dreams could come true and that I could do anything if I believed hard enough. I loved waiting for moments to happen. Ya know, the ones that you read about in books and see in movies? The music is just right, the lighting makes everything in the scene glow, and the main character is experiencing something so amazing that everything seems to slow down, even life outside of the film. If I didn’t experience these moments in my own life, I’d create them. And if that didn’t work, I’d imagine them in my head and pretend they were real.

I liked this view that I had, but sadly it was distorted. In reality, life wasn’t like these moments I created and imagined for myself. I didn’t know what to do with the moments of time when I couldn’t think of something exciting, the moments that were just that…moments, strung together in a sequence. The result: my mundane life.

The mundane isn’t bad. It can be difficult to endure sometimes, but there is beauty in it, if we resolve to find it.  Typically, an average day for me in State College looks like this:
-Wake up
-Drink coffee/read my Bible
-Get ready for the day
-Meet with students
-Exercise (I try to make this a regularly thing)
-Eat Dinner
-Go to bed
There are variations here and there depending upon the day, but if you were to stack my weeks against each other, they would look strikingly similar. The routine is good. Familiarity is comforting; yet sometimes  it’s easy to forget why I’m here and why my routine is good work. Where is the beauty when my absent mind can’t seem to uncover it?

It’s in the slow, but sure process of building relationships with people. They don’t often happen over night because of one moment; it takes several conversations, several moments to build trust.

It’s in the repeated drives to and from campus that have helped me learn my way around town, making this place feel more like home.

It’s in the habit of carving out time to spend with Jesus again and again, slowly beginning to understand more of His character.

It’s in the asking my students the same questions that I (will) finally get the answer to.

It’s in the waking up every morning and thanking God for another day of life.

It’s in the going to bed every night, praising my Savior for a place to rest my head when I’m weary.

It’s in the way the sun sets behind the trees down town.

It’s in  the busy, hard working atmosphere on campus.

It’s in the smiles and laughter of my students as they catch up with each other at large group and other RUF events.

It’s in the sitting at my computer, typing, thinking, reading…

It’s in the little things.IMG_9807.JPG
As you can see, the beauty in the mundane isn’t anything spectacular, it doesn’t have the perfect music, nor does it have the perfect lighting, but it exists. It is in the mundane that I have found the character of Jesus to be true, to be consistent. Our God is faithful.
Every now and again, I’ll catch myself dreaming of moments like I used to when I was younger. I’m more keen and less afraid to let these thoughts go now. I don’t have to imagine beauty where I am, I get to stand in it and enjoy.

Dear Jesus,
[Thank you for not leaving me in the mundane and allowing me to say how lovely it can be.]

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