Most days my alarm goes off at 4:52 AM. I (sadly) turn my alarm off, slowly roll out of bed, and, sleepily, get ready for work. I don all black apparel, grab my hat and green apron, and get into my car. As I drive past the other apartment buildings, noticing the dark windows which assume sleeping residents, a tinge of jealousy always sweeps over me.
Most days I spend my mornings serving people coffee. Most days I get covered in whipped cream and coffee grinds. Most days I make someone upset by failing to be perfect. Most days I come home with aching feet and the strong desire to take a nap. Most days I do.
Then, most days, I go to my second job. I clean and I do a lot of reading. Then I come back to my apartment. And I crawl back into bed. And 5 or 6 hours later, my alarm goes off again at 4:52AM.
My life is kind of boring.
Perhaps just for a season, but nevertheless, it’s boring.
A cyclical pattern day in and day out with rare diversions.
I scroll through my Facebook and Instagram feeds and wonder in amazement over the lives of others. My friends. My past classmates, teammates, etc. The vacations to Europe, the engagements, the exciting jobs, the musical and theatrical careers, the lavish parties, the gorgeous photoshoots. All of it, seemingly anything but boring.
And every day my alarm goes off at 4:52AM and, for minimum wage, I make coffee.
I am just kind of boring.
But perhaps life is made up of a lot of “boring.” And perhaps some seasons of life contain more of it than others. And perhaps some people have less of it, and that’s okay too. Comparison is indeed the thief of joy.
The “boring life”…IS life. And, it’s not to be dreaded, feared or, God-forbid, wasted. The Lord has placed me and has placed you wherever you, doing whatever you’re doing, for the sake of His great Name and for His glory. The “boring” life is to be lived as a spiritual act of worship. I am commanded to rejoice always. I am called to rejoice when I come home with milk in my hair because I have been blessed with a job–a job that helps pay bills, make student loan payments, and to put a little money away for my final year of grad school. I am called to rejoice when I go grocery shopping–how blessed am I to be able to afford nutritious food and the occasional box of chocolates and bouquet of fresh flowers to decorate my bedroom. I am to rejoice when I’m laying in bed reading a book or when I’m sitting on my couch watching a movie with a friend. Both good gifts.
How often I have shaken my fists at God for leaving me in this “state of being” while those around me seemingly live lives of romance and grandeur. And it’s wrong.
Sometimes I am tempted to think if my life is not “exciting”, I am somehow failing. If I had truly given my life and my dreams to Lord, then He would surely work to make my life a thrilling adventure, right? My 20s have stood in direct contrast to this belief and it was greatly rocked when I became extremely ill. When you are mostly bedridden for a year, that theology will fail you. Because it’s not true. It puts your life in your hands, making God a sort of cosmic genie who grants your wildest dreams based upon your obedience or the amount of faith that you have. But it is not the amount or the strength of your faith, but the Object of your faith that saves you–Who saves you–who redeems and works in and through the boring life.
My prayers lately have been greatly about trust. Trusting God with my boring life. Trusting God with the mundane. Trusting God with the monotony. Trusting God with the life He has given me, even though it doesn’t look like I wish it did. Trusting that God hasn’t gotten something wrong or accidentally forgotten about me. Trusting that His ways are higher than mine and His way is perfect–even if I find it “boring.”
And praying for help to be faithful. Faithful in the silence. Faithful in the monotony. Faithful in the simple. Faithful in my boring life.
I pray that I will be faithful and obedient in the everyday tasks of every day. That I will glorify God in waking up, making lattes, doing laundry, doing my homework…That I will not waste away my days pitifully and selfishly upset about the cards I have been dealt, but that I will find my deepest satisfaction and my ultimate joy in my never changing, gracious God.
That I will be faithful in my extraordinary ordinary boring life.
So by dropping 13 years into the dumpster of history between chapters 16 and 17 the writer underscores the struggle of Abraham’s faith. what happened in those 13 years? Oh, what happened during the previous decade-plus. Abraham played veterinarian to his goats, settled scraps amount his herdsmen, sat up with Sarah when she had the flu, sent scouts out to look for water sources for the flocks-in short, all the sorts of things one does in the wash-your-face, brush-your-teeth, go-to-work routine of daily living. And year follows year that way, and Yahweh’s promise goes unfulfilled. Is the writer not telling us that time can be a severe problem for faith? That it can be hard to go on believing when you have to walk on in ordinary, run-of-the-mill living without seeing any of the fireworks of promise?
-Dale Ralph Davis