But we urge you, brothers, to [love one another] more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. 1 Thess 4.10-12
You probably won’t hear this verse read at many college graduation ceremonies. Keynote speakers usually encourage graduates to aspire to greatness, not to live quietly and mind their own affairs.
When I first believed in Christ, I dreamed of becoming a Christian performer, singing before thousands at Jesus festivals. I didn’t yearn to trudge off to work every day in the same office for the next 25 years, get married, have kids, go to Little League games, serve in the church, then die. That seemed so ordinary, pedestrian, and bland.
But there’s this little thing called making a living. So I became an elementary art teacher, bouncing among five different buildings, teaching buck-toothed kids how to cut out hearts, carve soap animals and make construction paper Christmas trees.
I got married, had kids, went to Little League games for 19 years, and served in our church, where I’ve worked in 2 offices since 1980.
Most Christians lives aren’t remarkable. Most of us aren’t speaking at conferences, writing books or rocking at festivals. Most of us work at rather humdrum jobs, or labor with little thanks in our homes serving our families. We faithfully plod away, going to care groups and serving our church.
If someone made a movie about most of us it would probably be rated “B” for “boring,” or “U” for “uneventful”. But when, by God’s grace, we “live quietly”, and mind our own affairs, and work with our hands, God is honored.
He’s no more glorified by the pastor preaching to thousands than he is by the Mom trying to get her one-year-old to eat his Gerber peas for the hundredth time.
He’s no more blessed by the man who leads thousands in worship than by the dad who runs a high lift all day, plays catch with his kids after dinner, and falls asleep reading a Bible story to his kids before bed.
Mundane is glorious in the kingdom of God. Because it takes God’s grace to live quiet lives of faithfulness, serving, and loving. Aspire to do all you do, no matter how commonplace, for God’s glory.
photo by Myrrien