What Season of Life Are You In?
Do you find yourself in a season of the mundane middle?
You know what I’m referring to, right? You may not be familiar with the term “mundane middle,” but you are certainly well acquainted with the feelings that go along with the season.
Dull. Boring. Monotonous. Drained. Uninspired. Lackluster. Chaotic. Hum-drum. Blah…lots and lots of blah-ness! We all know the list can go on…
Why is it always so easy to drone on and expound upon the negative? Eh-hem…otherwise known as complain?
Is it possible to make the mundane middle meaningful?
The Messy Middle
As a wife, a mom of two littles and a cancer caregiver, most of my everyday norms probably look a lot like yours. Life is bossing us around, running us ragged with overscheduled agendas and obligatory commitments. We are making lunches, doing laundry, scheduling appointments, sitting in car pool line or at the ball field, picking up last night’s dinner off the floor and getting up the next day and doing it all over again.
Where is the beauty and meaning in all that mess?
Trust me, I’m right there with you. I am certainly not preaching to you from the mountaintop where life is all glory, unicorns and glitter!
I’m in my own kind of messy middle.
But, can I share my fear with you? I’m afraid if I keep resisting this season, this position and time in my life, that I am going to miss something truly extraordinary amid all this monotonous ordinary.
I am afraid if I continue to allow my life to lull me into complacency, Satan will grab hold and waste no time morphing it into something even more ugly and infectious. I will then be at risk for the seeds of discontentment, disdain and detachment to take root in my heart.
Can you remember back to a time in your life when you felt so fully alive that all bodily senses were fully engaged and overwhelmingly captivated by your surroundings? Maybe you just met the man of your dreams or held your precious baby in your arms for the very first time?
Go back to that place. I’ll wait right here.
What does it feel like?
Is your heart beating so hard and so fast that it seems like a real possibility that it might leap right out of your chest? Do your feet feel so light, like you are floating effortlessly, hovering ever so slightly just above the Earth below? Now your eyes. What do they see? Bold, vibrant colors everywhere?
Your world is in sharp focus. Your lens is clear and free of fingerprints.
You are on the mountaintop.
It is so easy to feel the presence of the Lord when we experience these mountaintop moments. When we are in that place it feels like heaven has truly come down and kissed Earth.
Where is God in the Mundane Middle?
If I’m honest, my mucky mess in the long middle usually does not feel like heaven has come down and kissed anything. It feels more like this hard, lonely place that is heavy and full of gray. Void of meaning, purpose, joy…even the presence of God himself.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I get so consumed by everything and everyone that I just stop noticing God. Do you ever get so wrapped up in your list of to do’s that you have no margin left in your day to notice the magnificent presence of our Lord all around you, right smack dab in the middle of the mundane?
“I am a God who is everywhere and not in one place only. No one can hide where I cannot see them. Do you not know that I am everywhere in heaven and on earth?” (Jeremiah 23:23-24, NIV)
Mountaintop experiences are treasures. Savor them when they occur. Soak in every moment and allow it to wash renewal and refreshment over you.
However, don’t let your heart be fooled that you can only feel the intimate presence of the Lord when you find your feet firmly planted on the top of that mountain.
Guard your spirit against desiring that mountaintop moment more than a moment with Jesus.
“After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.” (Mark 9:2-3)
In these verses we see Peter, James and John with Jesus on the top of a mountain, experiencing a moment that we cannot even begin to fathom. The pinnacle of a mountaintop experience. Peter is so overcome he wants to stay in that moment and freeze it in time. However, in v.9 Jesus took the men back down the mountain and they were commanded to not tell anyone.
Do you ever find yourself feeling like Peter with a desire to make time stand still in those hilltop moments in time and not wanting to come back down the mountain?
I would challenge you to step back for a moment and really reflect on the idea that Jesus came back down from the mountain with his disciples and continued meeting people in the ordinary moments of their everyday lives…where they lived, where they worked, where they ate and kept house.
Jesus is closer to us than the air we breathe, whether we are high on the mountain or in the deepest pit of the lowest valley. He is there. Yet, our hearts long for those special moments in time where we live keenly aware of His presence, overwhelmed by jaw dropping awe and wonder.
What if you could transform your mundane middle into feeling like an everyday mountaintop experience?
I would argue that this transformation begins with a shift in perspective of what makes a mountaintop experience truly meaningful.
Is it the experience itself or is it the heightened awareness and connection with the holy presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ?
I believe deep down in my bones that our long, hard “middles” will begin to feel more like hilltop experiences when we begin to crave more of Jesus’ intimate presence in our lives than we covet those memorable moments in time.
How To Make the Mundane Middle Meaningful
- Intentionally choose to seek the gift of the Lord’s presence in ordinary, everyday moments. Don’t wait for the milestone or mountaintop.
- Be expectant to see the Lord and His presence at work in your life and in your surroundings. Keep your eyes, hands and heart wide open.
- Choose presence. Be where your life has you in that moment. Appreciate the moment for what it is and take notice of the gift at hand. Allow His spirit to consume you for that one moment in time and give Him permission to wash over you.
- Pause and be still. There are blessings and unwrapped gifts from God littered throughout our day just waiting to be noticed. Slow down and appreciate the pause. You won’t regret it.
- Be grateful and give thanks to the Lord in the moment for the treasured gift of His holy presence. Offer thanksgiving for the special revelation of himself in the midst of the everyday mundane mess.
God is ever present on the mountaintop, in the deepest darkest valley, on the cold kitchen floor next to the scraps from yesterday’s breakfast or in the glider during that 2 a.m. feeding.
Jesus’s holy presence is what brings the euphoria to those memorable moments, not our position on Earth or our circumstances.
We don’t have to wait until heaven to experience heaven on Earth. God created us to find joy in the journey, not just in our eternal destination. We were designed to experience God, with an intimate closeness and connectedness on the hilltop, face down in the valley and in all the mundane moments in between.
Commit to embracing the long, hard middle and discover the beautiful blessings that God has put all around you. The Kingdom of Heaven is now at hand!
Don’t miss it!