Hey y’all! It has been a crazy couple of weeks with scheduling and time management, and I’m sure many can relate to the feeling of being constantly on the go. No time to rest, no time to breathe, no time to just relax and enjoy life. Days start bleeding together and soon a whole week has passed and that essay isn’t done, that studying didn’t happen, that shift at work wore you thin, and you have become completely distracted from the main mission at hand. What’s the mission I’m speaking of? We’ll get to that later…
As I said before, over the past few weeks, it has been very hectic for me. As a full-time student, a working girl, and a disciple of Jesus, it has been a struggle of mine to not fall into the same routine each day and feel bored with the life I am living. It seems to be the same thing each day – wake up, go to school, go to work, go home, maybe fit in a meal or two (college life, am I right?) and start the same cycle over the next day. And I am exhausted from it! How do I get out this slump and make my life exciting? How do I escape the blandness of a mundane lifestyle?
As I was praying and studying out this specific struggle more, I learned a few things about the questions that plagued my thoughts throughout my robotic day. In Philippians 4:11-13, I discovered that my boredom is a heart issue.
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Hmm, contentment in ALL circumstances, in WHATEVER circumstance. Wow, that hit me hard. I had no idea that my fatigue in a seemingly bland lifestyle was because I lacked gratitude for the life that God granted me here in Iowa.
In Greek, “content” is translated as autarkés, meaning “contented with one’s lot, with one’s means, through the slenderest.” My lot is being a student. My lot is being a retail employee. On top of that, my lot includes the struggles and trials that come along with school and work, too. It is financial instability sometimes, or lack of sleep, or missing out on social events because I have to be responsible. In addition to the “identity lots” as I like to call them, there are “circumstantial lots”, as well. A car crash and the insurance goes up, a loved one in the family becomes ill or passes away, an overdraft on your bank account… you get the picture. It feels like on top of the identity lots and the outcomes of your niche in the world there are little things the Devil likes to sprinkle in to make life unnecessarily hard. Yet still, in ALL circumstances, I must remain content. But, there is great news, because that is not the full lot that God has bestowed upon me. I also have the lot of being his follower, being the direct recipient of his love. My lot is a purpose in life. My lot is the mission, and the mission that Jesus calls me, and us, to in Matthew 28:19-20 is not mundane or boring at all!
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
My life may be boring, my routine may grow old, but just think about that mission that has been set before us! Making disciples of all nations is such an extraordinary calling and this is how I have changed the way I live my days out. By answering the call to the mission, my days will never have an identical path!
Another way that I have found to be extremely helpful in making a week more enjoyable is simply making time to do activities that I enjoy. They are like little treats throughout the week that I can look forward to. When I find time amidst my busy schedule to sit down and just relax and enjoy the passions God has instilled in me, I find my week to be a lot less stressful. In John 10:10, Jesus assures us that making time for a little fun is a good thing.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Jesus wants us to enjoy the gifts that he offers to us. He desires for us to appreciate the different passions that are engrained in all of us. He hasn’t just come to give life, He has come to give it to THE FULL. If he came to give life to the fullest, why would fun not be included? This life to the full, though, is not an excuse to go out and be a hooligan. This is a full life in the sense of righteous living and ultimately a life of love, because worldly and fleeting desires only result in hurt and pain. Hurt and pain don’t seem like a full life to me…
All in all, I don’t have it all together. I am still working on being content with my lot and praying for God to encourage my soul throughout the day. I have begun to ask specifically for Him to be revealed in little things as I continue my week. Even though I am living a seemingly ordinary life, that does not justify my discontent heart. The mission that we, as disciples, are called to contradicts a routine cycle. Finding meaning in a mundane life becomes a little more feasible in recognizing that God gives opportunities to make each day uniquely purposeful!