[Re]Discovering Meaning in the Mundane
I write this post because I believe that there are many people out there who, like me, have received a vision or dream from the Lord that is so beautiful/glorious/magnificent/worthwhile/etc., and yet find themselves caught in a phase of inescapable mundanity. I’ve been wrestling with this discrepancy of vision & reality for quite some time now. This morning, I’m reminded of the all-too-well-known story of Joseph.
God gives Joseph a couple of dreams of greatness. This dream doesn’t become reality until twenty-two years later. Within those twenty-two years, Joseph spent roughly eleven years in slavery, two years in a dungeon (wrongfully accused), and nine years serving the Egyptian government both in times of plenty and famine. Throughout all this time, God was with Joseph and Joseph was faithful to God.
I just want to share with you a few things God has reminded me of this morning:
Our focus should be on the process, not the promise.
Sure, it’s important to glance at the vision once in a while and remind ourselves of the promise of God over our lives. But when we get caught up in the vision and allow it to overshadow the incredible journey that God has us in, we become caught up with frustration and impatience. I’m sure that throughout those twenty-two years, Joseph had remembered the vivid dreams that God had given him. I’m sure he noticed the discrepancy between the “promise” and the reality. I’m sure he thought about how unlikely, or even impossible, the promise seemed in light of his present situations. Yet, Joseph continues to be faithful to God, continues to walk in excellence, and continues to take advantage of whatever situation he is in.
God is in the process.
Just recently, I had a conversation with my wife about how with each generation seems to come an increasing sense of impatience. The appreciation for any sort of waiting process is vanishing (if it has not completely vanished already). These days, we get antsy if we have to wait ten seconds for a browser page to load. Waiting on the express line at a grocery store to purchase food that has already been prepared and packaged for us can seem like an eternity. We get frustrated at the person in front of us driving at only 60 miles per hour. If there is something we don’t know, we now have instant access through the magic of our smartphones and Google.
As a direct result, we have lost interest in the process. The moments between inception and fulfillment are mundane, unappreciated. But God is in the process. When the process becomes mundane, we have lost sight of God. Every step of the way - in Joseph’s enslavement, imprisonment, and empowerment - God was with Joseph and Joseph had the favor of the Lord. Every moment was an opportunity to be with God, serve God, and enjoy God. We look at incredible men and women of faith today with worldwide platforms and so easily want to become them but rarely take the time to ponder what their process was like - the incredible journeys of fighting for faith and joy that they had gone through (and probably still go through).
The fulfillment of the promise is a direct result of faithfulness in the process.
Because God is in the process, there are things to be gained even before the ultimate fulfillment of the promise. It is in the process that we will find our tribe and our growth. Without the process, there will be no one to celebrate the promise with us; no strength to sustain the promise. It was Joseph’s faithfulness that led to promotion after promotion. It was Joseph’s faithfulness in the twenty-two year process that led to his dream eventually becoming a reality.
Seek God in the process. He is there - in the form of people to love, victories to be had, and losses to mourn. He is there to encourage you, strengthen you, and watch over you. Seek God’s presence. It is only from that place that your process with have meaning and your promise will have worth.
Father, I pray for a restoration of joy, a renewal of of vision, and an increased sensitivity to Your presence for all those who read this. Amen.