The mundane is boring. And moms face a mountain of the mundane day in and day out. Some days we feel like we are stuck in the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. We are doomed to repeat the same chores, the same meals, the same homework battles 7 days a week. If there is a light at the end of this tunnel, it is very, very dim. But we trudge on because that is what moms do.
But what if there is more to this mundane story? What if we were to see this teaching, this training, and this endless doing for what it truly is…the building of a strong foundation? Would our daily schedules seem so mundane? So boring and ordinary?
Or would we see them as small things that could become great things in the hands of a great God?
In Zechariah 4, Zechariah is given some visions from the Lord. The Israelites have returned from Babylon and have begun to rebuild the temple of the Lord. It will not be as grand as Solomon’s temple, but God has promised to reside there in all His glory. There is trouble on all sides though. Those that despise the Lord and His people are stirring up trouble and those that are just never content are questioning why a lesser temple should even be built. The people are feeling discouraged and distracted. They have just left a foreign land to return to the land of their ancestors, but for many, this homeland is just as foreign. Not only are they trying to lay the foundation of the holy temple, but they are attempting to lay the foundation of their lives outside of captivity. And the day in and day out struggles are beginning to frustrate them and they are forgetting what the end result will be, God dwelling within their midst once again. God is encouraging the man He has chosen to rebuild the temple, Zerubbabel, to not lose heart. He is promising him that these small things will lead to great things. (See Haggai 2:20-23; Zech. 4:6-9)
In Zechariah 4:10, God asks, “Who dares to despise the day of small things?” I just got stuck right there as I read that part of the verse. Apparently, I dare to despise small things all the time. I get tired of doing the dishes and cooking meals and doing loads of laundry. But I also get tired of teaching life principles to boys that just don’t seem to want to learn, or do, or grow. It gets frustrating. And I feel defeated. And I want to throw in the towel and run away.
But then God speaks out of the pages of His word and I realize there is more to the mundane than I imagined. Especially, when I let Him be the owner of my so-called ordinary existence. Matthew Henry (by far my favorite Bible commentator of all time) puts it like this, “In God’s work the day of small things is not to be despised. Though the instruments be weak and unlikely, God often chooses such, by them to bring about great things.” Trust me, as instruments go, I am weak and unlikely. But God chose me to be a wife to my husband and a mother to three boys. I’m laying spiritual foundations that I don’t even know about right now. Ones that will serve my boys in years (and trials) yet to come.
And when I treat the mundane things of my life as unimportant or annoying, I despise the work God has given me to do. Doesn’t mean I can’t delegate the dishes or the laundry, but it does mean this mundane life is the adventure I’m called to right now. As much as I would like to jet off to exotic locales to further God’s kingdom, He has called me to build foundations in my home in the lives of my children and in my marriage. And I need to be about my Father’s business much more consistently than I am. My boys need the firm foundation of Christ because without it they cannot withstand the storms of this life.
Foundation-building may be boring and ordinary. The world may see it as mundane and unadventurous. It may be called small and unimportant. But the Bible tells us otherwise. Christ calls us to use the ordinary to bring Him glory. Kind of puts the shine on the mundane doesn’t it?
46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.[a] 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Luke 6:46-29 (ESV)
See Zechariah 4; Haggai 2: 1-9