embracing the mundane is necessary to experiencing the movement
16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
I’m one of those weird people who enjoys New Year’s resolutions. Typically, during this week in-between Christmas and January 1st, I spend some time thinking and praying through what I want the new year to look like. I set goals of how many books I want to read, I reaffirm my desire to stay in decent shape, and I think through ways I want to improve as a husband, father, and pastor. It’s a process I enjoy!
While reading through the Christmas narrative this year, something caught my heart and reshaping the way I approach this new year. Writing about John, the cousin of Jesus, Luke says, “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” (Luke 1:16-17). John’s task was to help prepare a people for what God was going to do through Jesus.
The work of preparation often looks like tilling a field – not harvesting, practicing a jump shot – not playing or winning the game, studying – not taking the test, and working the job – not landing the career. Preparation is laced with ordinary. It includes the mundane and often overlooked seasons of life. However, embracing the mundane is necessary to experiencing the movement. As people, we have the tendency to plan for the end. We rarely make provision for the preparation, but so much of our life with God happens in the preparation.
Life takes place in the ordinary. We cannot choreograph or control what God does in our life, but we can make ourselves ready for his movement. Preparation is far less flashy than the actual movement of God. It looks like silence, prayer, ritual, rhythm of life, time in Scripture, and obedience. It looks like spending time cultivating a healthy heart and inner-life with God. Maybe this year, instead of making a list of things you want to change, weight you want to lose, and achievements you want to accomplish – you take some time and think through what it might look like to make ready for the Lord a life prepared.
Take some time today what it looks like for you to be prepared for the movement of God in your life in this coming year.
By Ryan Paulson