“The true test of a person’s spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening.”
– “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers
I love this quote. Mostly because as a woman, wife, mother, friend and professional, running through my life from task to task, I often just feel very ordinary. I am no different than any other woman on the planet. No different than any of you reading this blog.
I do dishes every day, fold laundry, clean toilets, sweep floors, tidy rooms, make meals, reassemble the kitchen and dust the house. I get up to an alarm, get ready for work, sit at my desk with my “to-do” list, cross tasks off as they are accomplished, head home, only to do it all again the next day. I run the kids to their various assorted extra-curricular activities and social engagements. I book eye appointments and visits to the vet for our furry companions. And let’s not forget grocery shopping, gathering sustenance to feed my two growing teenage boys!
Add to this the crazy pace in which life travels and the ordinariness of life can compound. There is often only enough time for mascara and lip balm on my way out the door. The church clothes worn on Sunday get worn on Monday to work for the sake of efficiency. My hair is coiffed the same way every day, because there is limited bathroom time in the morning for experimentation. I still try to use the “baby weight” excuse after 17 years of motherhood for the added pounds around my middle. My younger vain teenage self would be appalled at my older ordinary appearance.
There are times I sit with my family and watch an exciting, edge of the seat flick on Netflix. You know, the ones filled with wonder, adventure, danger, romance, intrigue and suspense. Or we view a documentary of an individual beating the odds or accomplishing a great feat. Both have the ability to leave me feeling somewhat small and insignificant. There are times when special guests come to speak at church and share about their incredible salvation stories or their unbelievable opportunities to minister and witness. Again, my life story pales in comparison.
But, I must remember that in the ordinary moments there are so many opportunities to practice the Fruit of the Spirit and minister to those I come in to contact with every day. All of those little ordinary moments along the way add up to a lifetime of incredible blessings flowing out. The extra care given to removing a sliver from my child’s finger; the bouquet of bacon roses left for my husband when he returns from a meeting at work; the care package sent to my sister abroad. The door held open for the elderly man struggling to enter a building; the encouraging word to a mom in line at the grocery story with a squalling infant; the coffee paid for in the vehicle ahead in the drive-thru line. These are the ordinary moments that become extraordinary as I allow my character to grow and shine for Jesus.
“But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”