Day after day, I find my life on repeat. I do almost the same things every day. Taking care of my kids, cooking, cleaning, homeschooling. Only a few years ago, I worked but it still followed a pattern; wake up, get the kids ready, get them to the babysitter, go to work, get home, supper, clean up, bedtimes, fall into bed. That’s the short list. Sometimes I see people who I perceive to have more “exciting” lives and I wonder sometimes if I am doing it wrong. Is this what it is supposed to look like? Is it normal to live on repeat. It feels less glamorous. It feels mundane. It feels, well, boring. I feel our culture tells us if we are living on repeat, we are living it wrong. Where is the excitement? Where’s the spontaneity? Wheres the flash and dazzle? If you don’t have that, do you need to find some? Is your life less valuable if you live in repeat more than in change.
There are phrases now that are common to us. YOLO (you only live once). FOMO (fear of missing out). All of these concepts and mindsets have to do with the seeking of the missing element. The seeking of the more. The greener grass on the other side. The rainbow around the next bend in the road. The dream that is just within grasp.
Is that reality? Is that what we are meant for? Is that what God wants for us? I’m asking these questions because I feel myself pulled to the extraordinary. Pulled towards the sensational. Pulled towards something that feels big.
Yet, is our concept of “missing out” and the search to keep up and experience more causing us to miss out on something even more sensational and life changing. The experiencing of peace, contentment, joy, and simplicity.
Is it possible to have both or can we only have one or the other?
I find the noise and clamor of many voices on the highest volume inside my mind and heart. They are chanting, “Faster, faster.” “Make more.” “Be more.” “Do more.” “Become more.”
It reminds me of the story in the Bible about the tower of Babel.
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. Genesis 11:3-9
Their greatest concern was to make their name great. To build something that would create the perfect society where they would feel significant. They desired to be the solution to their own problems. Self rely rather than God rely. To their own detriment, they decided to exclude God from their ideas. They yearned to make their name great and be known for an accomplishment that superseeded the ordinary.
Ironically, this incident mirrors exactly the fall of Satan from heaven. He desired to be like God. He wanted to be worshipped like God. He wanted to make his name great. He asked angels to desert God and follow him instead. This birthed the beginning of spiritual warfare for the Christian. An entity desiring to make their name great apart from God ultimately glorifies Satan. This truth makes me shudder. I see myself within the lines that I just wrote. There is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Yet it is our biggest temptation and battle to combat this phenomenon. Don’t feel guilty or surprised. This dates way back to Adam and Eve. However, what does victory in this area look like in our daily lives?
What I am NOT saying is that fun, spontaneity, change, and new beginnings are bad. I think the question we must ask ourselves is not about “what we are doing?” as much as “why are we doing it?”
Why do we do the things we do? Is it to make our name great? Or his name great?
I look at Jesus’ life and I see a full God, full human whose only desire was for the will of the Father.
He did some pretty sensational things! He was always on the move. Traveling from town to town, he was always about his Father’s business: healing the sick, casting out demons, facing down hypocrisy within the Pharisees, and teaching the people about the kingdom of God. Yet, his life was considerably less than glamorous. He was completely dependent upon the Father. Full in the work of serving those who needed a physician. It was dirty, busy, demanding and exhausting. Daily life was a repeat of serving and loving the unlovable. Meeting the needs of those who would soon reject him. On long dusty roads, walking from place to place to promote, not his name, but the name of the Father. Then at the very end, to die on the cross to promote not his will, but his Father’s will. He perished so that we might not perish.
I find this to be dramatically, sensational and climactic while incredibly mundane and difficult at the same time. A life on repeat, teaching, serving, and investing into the lives of others. Choosing to live in daily “sameness” as a carpenter only to trade this for the repetitive saving of others. How simple yet exciting, beautiful yet hard, and climactic in the face of mundane.
This makes me want to repeat and repeat well. Not for the sake of making my name great but for the sake of making his. Whether there is much change and commotion or the daily same in the mundane, both are breathlessly beautiful and important as we work to glorify the one who deserves all the glory in the first place. We have not yet seen the ending to all this, but his word tells us its something pretty fantastic. If we continue to be faithful on this journey, we need have no “fear of missing out.” He will make sure of it.
Wake up tomorrow and repeat well. Then the day after, do it again. Jesus’ life was full of repeat moments. This simple repeating everyday led to a complete and total world shift. Heaven coming down and God living with us in the every day repeat. His life is worth repeating. A day of living for Jesus is worth repeating again and again and again.