Saturday, August 27, 2011

Joy and the Mundane

Cultivating joy. An easy thing to say. An easy thing to do when life is exciting or engaging or fun. A grueling challenge when life is seemingly mundane. A challenge that I will own and love. A challenge that will pierce to the heart of how I choose to view life.

I'm one week into nursing school. My temptation is to say, "Only 59 more weeks to go!" My temptation is to look past all that the next two years have to offer and fix my eyes upon the completion of the goal. My temptation is to only take joy in the opportunity that God has provided for me once I have my degree. My temptation is to ignore that which He has planned and set before me for each moment of this afternoon and the upcoming week.

It is so tempting to look to the next "exciting" part of life: receiving a college degree, marriage, children, career, travelling, settling, retirement, etc. Our culture operates and thrives on this notion. I have done it before; unfortunately more than I can properly record. I would cite it as a strategy to survive the struggle in which one is currently.

Thankfully, that is not how God has called me to live my life. God has called me to find my joy in Him for every moment of every day. He is my supreme delight. He is my ultimate satisfaction. He has asked me and enabled me to seek delight in Him in all struggle and all celebration.

The word "mundane" is often synonymous with lifelessness, thoughtlessness, lacking of excitement. Why do I allow my life to become mundane? Allow me to rephrase that question: Why do I ever choose to view my life as mundane? It isn't. The trees outside are growing and the leaves are green and the bark brown. It doesn't have to be that way. Tress could grow down. Trees don't necessarily have to grow at all but God has provided them. Be amazed by the beauty of a simple leaf once again. Stand in awe of the Creator once again because His hand has allowed such beauty.

This life will be over before I realize it. It is a vapor. As my birthdays pass each year, this becomes more and more evident. If I continue to find my joy in the anticipation of the future circumstances that this life will provide, I will always be dissatisfied. Even more than the dissatisfaction that would plague my life, I would be missing the purpose. My God has saved me that I may know Him. Knowing Him brings deep joy. Knowing Him brings deep satisfaction in any circumstance.

I choose to rejoice in 150 pages of reading for Theory and Fundamentals because it is where God has me. Where God has me is good because it is where I am most able to glorify Him. I don't use the word "good" as most people would. I use it in reference to that which causes me to turn to my God once again and that which reflects my God. This is good. Moment by moment, I will rejoice in where God has me because it is good.

I will cultivate joy. I will work for it and fight for it. God has set me here specifically and purposely. I will be content because my life is not mundane. It is new and fresh because the gospel is what I stand upon every morning. Viewing life as mundane is not an option because it's not.


Ashlyn said...

Lauren, thank you so much! I feel kind of like a creeper reading your blog :), but I have been SO encouraged by you sharing your struggles and everyday life. Thank you! I see the Lord working in your life in such a clear, beautiful way and I'm so excited for you and the journey He has you. Love you!

Hannah said...

Lauren girl! My mind was kind of blown reading your post...because God has been teaching me the exact same thing. It's almost scary how similar your thoughts/experiences are to mine. I'm praying for you!