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God of the Ordinary

I return to the routine of ministry tomorrow. I've been out of these habits since 21 June, and I'm a bit anxious about returning to the office tomorrow. It's not that I don't like the people or the job or that I fear the future, but I am nervous about how to find God in the ordinary after experiencing Him in so many exotic places and events.

It's easy to find God hiking on a rock face at 11,000 feet above sea level or walking beside a snow-melt filled stream rushing down a mountain side. It's not so easy to find God on the concrete, SUV-crowded streets and florescent lighted halls of my suburban life. After six weeks of the extra-ordinary I will commit again to the mundane, the daily grind, the live-where-you-are-planted life.

For those addicted to adrenaline like I am at times, I will turn again to trust my Mentor and Leader who ultimately changed the hearts of generations while staying within 200 miles of his hometown. I live in an experience-enhanced existence, and meaning is supposed to grow from those out-of-the-ordinary experiences rather than from the day-night-day habits we create for ourselves. Jesus brought eternity into the hearts of people in the ordinary life of a first-century Jew.

When we summited Wheeler Peak last week a solo twenty-something woman was smoking a joint. She was polite enough to offer us a hit, but we just as politely refused. I was already light headed from the climb and lack of oxygen at 13,161 feet! I sat down to my trail mix while one of the other hikers in the group talked to her about skiing Taos. I later wondered if her body had become so familiar with the effects of the drug at a lower elevation that she had to come up there to get high, or, was that just what she did to heighten the experience no matter where she was.

I wonder how much I wait for elevated events and external stimulants to add meaning to my life. I know from Jesus and those who follow Him that eternal meaning is found in life on the streets with real people and all of the stuff that clings to them. I know I will more likely find my life in Jesus deepening in the context of the routine of daily life than in the head-spinning events in far away places.

I will settle down to the routine, but I will look and listen for the extra-ordinary presence of God in the middle of it all. Join me on the streets, and we'll save the adrenaline-induced experiences for next year. I'll let you know how tomorrow goes.