JOY IN THE MUNDANE

The other day I made a choice.

I chose to be happy.

I chose to live my day for someone else.

Sounds a little weird, right? Hear me out. The day started like most others. I woke up and began my day with my devotions. As I was praying, a Bible verse appeared in my head. It was a verse that I was very familiar with; it was 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” At that moment, I decided that I would live that day especially for the glory of God. I did not know it at the time, but this would entirely change my day and would go onto change the way that I viewed the rest of my week.

I work as a cleaner during the breaks between semesters. My day consists of six to eight hours of vacuuming, laying out linen, wiping down surfaces and of course, cleaning the bathrooms. My mantra throughout my other days of cleaning up until this point was that ‘I just had to get through it’, I effectively lived in the future, anticipating the rest of my break. From my first day of cleaning, I had been counting down the days until my last shift, when I could really start my life and get moving on the rest of the projects I had planned for the break. I wished my days away.

This attitude was utterly contrary to that of what a Christian should have. In Ecclesiastes 9:10 it is written that “’whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Christian’s are called to do everything with all of their might. I realised that I was not completing my work with a Christian heart. After this epiphany, I went to work full of joy and with the intent of finishing my work as best as I could while finding things to enjoy within it. When people asked me how I was, I replied that I was great, and they seemed even to doubt my response, thinking that because I was cleaning, I was most likely gritting my teeth and making it through the day. I made the most out of that day. The hours went so quickly, and it did not even feel like hard work, I seemed to have a happiness that nothing could steal.

As a Christian, we are called to live a life worthy of that of a child of the living God. We are called to share the glory of God with the world. We are unable to share God’s glory unless we have His light within us. Spending time with God is the most critical part of the day for a Christian, it is the source of the joy of salvation found in each of us. When I was growing up, whenever I would complain to my mum about daily happenings, she would say “don’t let anybody steal your joy.” When we have the joy of the Lord, it cannot be stolen, even despite life’s trials. Joy is a gift that is found through a relationship with God and is said to be in 1 Chronicles 16:27 a crucial component of the nature of God.  This concept of an indescribable joy can be seen in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 which reads “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

We can experience the joy of the Lord through spending time bettering and building our relationship with Him. We can do this through seeking Him earnestly in prayer and through getting into the practice of daily devotions. I have found these two things to be life-changing, and drastically altering in my relationship with God. By starting off my day by praying, before I even get out of bed, I begin my day by connecting with the one that will get me through it. Then, getting into Gods word in the morning focuses me further on the way that God desires me to live. Devotions can be as simple as reading a few verses in the Bible and reflecting on them or completing a component of a Bible study. Through intentionally setting aside time to meet with God, we allow God to fill us with his transforming peace which brings joy. We begin to live our lives with purpose rather than as aimless travellers.

We can live every day for the glory of God if we allow ourselves to be filled with God’s glory. We can only do this once we are making a concentrated effort to know God intimately. It doesn’t matter what your occupation is; there is a way that you can reveal God to another, even it is just through the extra joy and satisfaction that you have and that they are so desperately missing.

By Kira-Leigh Josey

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