The Ordinary People God Uses To Change The World
A splinter of light squeezed beneath the bottom of my bedroom door. My clock read 3:11 AM, but the light clearly indicated that someone was awake. I climbed out of my bed to investigate. As I peered down the hallway I saw that the light in our family dining room was on. I heard a slight murmur, it almost sounded like someone was talking. As I rounded the corner I saw my father.
“What are you doing, dad?” I asked in confusion.
“I have to get up early to spend time in God’s word. Reading the words aloud helps me stay awake and retain the Scripture as I read,” dad said.
His answer sufficed in the moment, but I went to bed trying to understand why my father would sacrifice precious moments of sleep to read the Bible.
My father is not exactly what you would call a deep theologian. He is a consistent and simple guy. He likes plain cheeseburgers, Diet Coke, salad with no dressing, and plain, salted potatoes.
He likes to say, “It’s difficult to mess things up if you keep them simple.”
While I may disagree with some of his food choices, I have found that his words are true when it comes to my walk with God.
Dad was up before the birds that morning and every morning for over five years because he had to be at work at 4:15 AM every day. Time spent studying Scripture was a priority to my dad. He willingly sacrificed sleep, comfort, and morning prep time to read and meditate upon Scripture.
Now, in my mid-twenties, I often think back to those early mornings when my dad would get up to spend time with God. It is the small, simple tasks of obedience that build our relationship with Christ.
Countless stories in Scripture display this truth. Saul lost favor with God because he did not completely obey a command to destroy a nation. Daniel purposed in his heart to do right because his faith required a certain diet and lifestyle. Jesus himself often spent time meeting the physical needs of those around Him before he addressed their spiritual needs.
The longer I live the more I realize it is the small things in life that really shape who we are and draw us closer to God. The mundane moments add up to a life that is lived with real purpose. Every time we sacrifice sleep to study the Bible, we grow. Every time we pray for the needs of others and repent of our personal failings, we are able to see the world a little bit more like Christ. Every word of kindness, every request for forgiveness, every repeated moment of faithfulness is slowly chipping away at our brokenness and shaping us into the image of God.
“We’ve forgotten that God showers his extraordinary gifts through ordinary means of grace, loves us through ordinary fellow image bearers, and sends us out into the world to love and serve others in ordinary callings.”
― Michael S. Horton, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World
Don’t let the small, simple moments of life pass without thought. For it is those moments, compounded over time, that create a life of true value.