I attended a graduation recently where I heard two messages that hit me. The first message was from a seminary student, speaking about his time at the institution and all the things that he learned. During his speech, he said one phrase that I took note of and it struck me, and still strikes me, as profound. He used the phrase, “celebrate the ordinary,” speaking about taking time to enjoy the little things.
The second message came from a good friend and professor, speaking on the importance of remembering whom it is who called us, and whom it is who sent us out. His message was entitled, “Remember the Sender.” He preached with passion and conviction as he remembered seasons of being addicted to alcohol, and seasons being dependent on drugs. He spoke of God’s grace to not see him as he once was during those seasons, but to see him as a loved son, called to move forward and share the gospel. His challenge was in all things, both good and bad, to remember the Sender.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21
Those two messages were so profound to me that day, and they continue to be today. As I think about my own journey in the Christian life, it is marred by mistakes I’ve made, stupid choices, pettiness, anger, cynicism, and so many other things…but God has been so gracious and merciful as to stand me back up and encourage me to move forward from my past. He has given me so many good things, whether it is opportunities, friends, family, you name it. So I am challenging myself now in all things to celebrate the ordinary, and to remember the Sender.
I think often times we expect God to show up in huge ways all the time, and get frustrated when He doesn’t seem to show up the way we intended. That frustration often gets in the way of us celebrating the ordinary, and praising God for the way He did and does show up, even if it isn’t through a mind-blowing revelation every time. For many of us, we go through the day-to-day grinds of work, raising kids, going to school, etc. and it may seem that we’re going it alone, or that God is just a passive observer of our lives.
I want to challenge you (and believe me, I am including myself in the challenge as well), to look for the ways God shows up every day. Take time to celebrate the ordinary, the small things, the little ways God takes care of you or is providing for you, and in all things remember the Sender. Remember that He is calling each and every one of us to go out.
Who knows? Perhaps He’s calling you to be the blessing in someone else’s life…and maybe that person will take time to give thanks and celebrate the ordinary way that God used you in their journey. He is calling us all, so I challenge you to celebrate the ordinary, and remember the Sender.