The approach of Christmas brings about the ugly battle of expectation versus reality. Suddenly, we see the imperfections in our lives. We realize our family isn’t as perfect as the ones displayed in the Christmas commercials. The pressure grows to find the perfect gift for your special someone. Parties become items to check off the list and ensure your house receives a good cleaning.
The truth is, while there’s joy and excitement to this season, there is also the reality check that our lives may not feel as exciting as we desire. But as we desperately attempt to create the perfect Christmas, we miss out on experiencing God’s grace in the mundane.
It’s interesting to read the situations described in the Bible when God appeared to humans. The men and women involved in most of those appearances were not leading necessarily wonderful lives. God did not appear to and approve only those who were in the midst of riches or excitement or favor.
He appeared in the middle of the mundane, the normal, the ordinary.
Here we find Mary. Young, unassuming and most likely not living what we would consider an exciting life. Yet God chose her in the midst of her mundane. A normal, ordinary day turned into a divine encounter.
It was this moment when Mary heard the words that changed her life forever. Words that enable us to distinguish her as Mary, mother of Jesus. And all of this happened during a day that must have felt routine to Mary. Until she spoke with an angel, that is.
What is it about the day-to-day routine that presents the perfect moment for God to bring the divine to our midsts? And how can we truly find grace in the mundane when the mundane feels incredibly … boring at times? It’s not like angels are appearing to us and declaring our future.
If we take a step back from scrutinizing our lives this Christmas season, we might just see how what we consider ordinary and far from perfect is actually a way God provides us with grace.
A shift in focus
Sure, we all desire excitement in life and a change of routine every now and then. But if you’re feeling stuck in the mundane, it might be time to take a look at your spiritual radar.
If our focus is on the next thing, how to achieve more in life, or even just getting through the day, we’ll feel as if we’re in a constant battle against routine. If we’re expecting God to show up in excitement and grandeur each time we desire a plan or purpose, we’ll feel disappointed and wonder why God didn’t come through for us.
But when we shift our focus from looking for change and excitement to looking deeper in the ordinary, we’ll be surprised by how God transforms those moments.
These aren’t magical moments, and our lives will still be far from perfect. But when we look for the breath of God instead of focus on how we wish our lives were different, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us His grace in the mundane.
As our minds unclog from comparison, coveting, self-pity and pride, we’ll see how God has given us grace to live with dignity in the present and hope for the future. We’re on this earth for a purpose, and that purpose means our lives aren’t mundane and boring.
The grace God gives us provides us with the ability to feel His presence in the midst of our ordinary days. He often comes to us when we feel as if we have nothing to offer. He comes to us in the mundane to give us the grace that means we don’t have to live “exciting” lives in order to receive His love and His words.
But we’ll miss out on that if our focus is only on gaining more excitement into our days.
So here’s the challenge: Begin each morning this Christmas season asking God to provide grace in the mundane. Then, take moments throughout your day to think about how you see that grace in your schedule and routine.
Once your focus shifts from expectations to grace, your reality won’t feel as ordinary. And you’ll be able to celebrate this Christmas season without the fear of unmet expectations.
Let’s Talk About It: How do you see God’s grace in the mundane?