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Exodus 3:2 -4 “Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight — why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
Finding Significance in the Ordinary
“My goal in life is to be ordinary.”
“When I grow up, I want to do normal things.”
“Someday, I hope everyone else considers me completely average.”
These three sentences are ones you will never hear a young person say when asked about their future goals. Inside each of us, I believe, is a desire to succeed, to be special, to live a life of great measure, a life that counts for something. Yet, sometimes it’s hard for a mom to see life that way when she’s home with her kids all day long. Wiping noses, soothing cries, intervening in arguments, cooking, cleaning, helping with schoolwork. My God promises that I’m special to Him. Nevertheless, it’s hard to feel special with all the day-to-day responsibilities of being a homeschool mom. Honestly most days my life seems completely:
In the passage above we read about God’s servant, Moses. Moses grew up with all the privileges of living in a home of royalty.
- Servants: Had them.
- Education: The Best.
- Power: Full of it.
His life seemed destined for greatness. But after a serious turn of events, Moses found himself living in the desert, working as a shepherd, tending not even his own flock, but that of his father-in-law. (Exodus 3:1) I’m sure living in the desert was rough. Finding enough for his flock to eat and drink may have been a challenge. Still, scripture tells us he lived there many years. (Exodus 2:23) His life probably turned into a regular, ordinary routine. Take the flock here on Monday, there on Tuesday, etc. Snakes, lizards, other desert creatures may have been a typical sight. Shrubs here, rocks there, bushes everywhere. Because it gets quite cool in the desert at night, it may even have been fairly typical to see a fire that hadn’t been put out. He may have started life with a remarkable beginning, but living in the desert, married to Zipporah, raising two boys, his life probably became quite ordinary, average, and normal.
When Moses saw the burning bush, however, he stopped. Not because it was on fire, but because though it was on fire, it didn’t burn up. He stopped at an ordinary sight, and took the time to get a little closer and notice the extraordinary. He stopped at the common occurrence of a bush; he stopped at the common occurence of a fire, and noticed the Spiritual of a flame that didn’t burn. Scripture says God didn’t call Moses when he noticed the fire; God began to call him when he had gone over to get a closer look. (Exodus 3:4)
In my ordinary, day to day life I believe God wants me to do the same. To take a closer look at the ordinary things, stop, listen to His word, and notice the Spiritual. When I begin to do that, average days take on a new significance.
- A regular homeschool routine: becomes God’s smooth machine, a vehicle he uses to impart wisdom “which is more precious than rubies.” (Proverbs 8:11 )
- The daily act as referee between two bickering siblings: becomes God’s catalyst for teaching all of us to become Peacemakers “who will be called sons of God”. (Matthew 5:9)
- Through my regular struggle with patience: I begin to see God’s refining fire at work, which he calls “the fruit of the Spirit”. (Galatians 5:22)
- The typical complaints I make and hear: will be a process in which God works in and through us until we “shine like stars in the universe” in a “crooked and depraved generation”. (Philippians 2:15)
- Because of the trials I face, when I persevere: God will later give me the “crown of life”. (James 1:12)
Wow! What gifts! “Rubies”, “Child of God”, “Spiritual fruit”, “Shining stars”, and a “Crown”. If through my regular, average, normal life at home, I stop and take a closer look at God’s word and all that God wants to teach me, and by the grace of God I receive all of these treasures, my life really is not typical at all.
Lord, it’s easy to stumble into feeling that a homeschool mom’s ordinary, normal, average life is insignificant, unimportant, unrewarding. Help me to persevere, to grow in my faith as a result, and to bring You glory with the work that you’ve given me at home. Help me to remember “my light and momentary troubles are achieving for me an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” Amen. (1 Corinthians 4:17)
Matthew 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Copyright November 17th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette
All Scripture taken from NIV (New International Version)