Walking with God in the ordinary

This Advent season, we have the opportunity to reflect on this deep and incredible commitment God has made – becoming human. We’ll consider four areas where Christ’s coming creates a new paradigm for the way we live.

Our theme in week two is Ordinary. While Jesus’ coming was on one hand extraordinary (virgin birth, pronouncement from angels, etc.), he came in such an ordinary way (baby lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling cloths) and to ordinary people. The fact that God enters into our everyday lives changes us at every level and impacts how we live, learn, work, and play.

Walking with God in the ordinary

If you told me that I would have lost my job, I probably wouldn’t have moved up here. It would have felt foolish to move back to New England without any way to provide for myself. I am a woman of practicality and planning and a whole lot of second-guessing.

The first month, I barely noticed my unemployment because I was keeping myself so busy. Lunch dates and hosting friends for dinner and almost enjoying my newfound freedom. But as time went on, I grew antsy. I started to feel the weight of not having a place. The fear of not having an income. The anxiety of not being able to answer the question, “So, what do you DO?”

I was full of shame because I knew that I had to say: I didn’t have job. And for
a while, it was awful. This cultural mark of success was suddenly very-much-so gone and I felt like I didn’t have a lot to show for myself. But as time went on, I was reminded: my job isn’t what qualifies me to follow Christ. Jesus isn’t more or less impressed by me because of what title I hold at a company.

In fact, he has been enormously kind during this season. The slowness gives
me the chance to show up for my friends and walk alongside others. It offers a season of rest and noticing the small, ordinary things we often overlook. Things like conversations with the cashier at the grocery store or helping a friend paint her living room while her newborn takes a nap. These places that I once wouldn’t have gone suddenly make up the landscape of my nine-to-five and it’s changing everything. It’s a chance to push into the ordinary in radical new ways that make every moment an opportunity to dig deeper into the beauty of the here and now.

And I think of the shepherds, watching over their flocks in the darkness, social outcasts and far from the “right people.” No cool job descriptions to hide behind. And yet, in their ordinary place, God met them with Good News. He didn’t tell the shepherds because they were competent and sought-after and social leaders. No, he told them because they were ordinary. They were being faithful to the work set before them.

I don’t know what’s next. And I don’t know how the Lord will provide. But I do know that if I walk in the places he’s prepared, I will be met with Good News.

Take a moment to notice the ordinary around you now. What is beautiful about it? How is it an expression of God’s Good News?

Story by Melissa Zaldivar

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