I wanted to take a moment today to tell you about a book that I’ve written that will be released on September 15. It’s called… wait for it… Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life.
If the catchy title didn’t get you, I’d love to tell you a bit more about why I wrote the book.
I wrote it because this is my story. It’s probably yours, too, at least in some respect. The truth is that we will all spend 90% of our time here on earth just doing life. Just being ordinary. Changing diapers, going to work, paying taxes – stuff like that.
If this were a self-help book, I might follow that realistic, slightly demotivating statement up with something like: “Break out of the ordinary. Pursue your bliss. Go skydiving. Do something important. Carpe diem.” The same motivation, in Christian terms, might read: “God’s will is that you have a life of adventure. Get out there and make an eternal difference. Do something big for God.”
All of those statements are true in a sense; all of them can be appropriate. What those statements communicate is that we should be focused on Jesus and expanding His kingdom. That should be our priority. Those statements challenge us to recognize that we only have a limited time here on earth, so we need to make sure we spend our time doing things that matter. However, implicit in an exhortation like “do something big for God” is the notion that we are currently not doing stuff that matters, and we have to abandon that insignificant stuff to break out of the rut … chase the dream … be the man … overcome obscurity … all that stuff.
Chasing dreams isn’t the problem. Neither is maximizing what you have to make a difference in the world for the sake of Christ. The problem is in our definition of significance.
People tend to believe that the pathway to significance is paved with the big, the showy, and the grand. The people who are most often lauded as influential are the ones doing the big, impressive things with their lives.
Consequently, those same people cannot involve themselves in these mundane details of life. Indeed, the mundane details are like anchors that weigh a person down from the bigger and the better. So moving toward a life that matters involves moving past the details that don’t.
But what if we’re wrong? What if “bigness” is not an accurate measure of significance? What if the whole idea of “ordinary” is a myth? And what if a life of great importance isn’t found by escaping the details but embracing them? What if God actually doesn’t want you to escape from the ordinary, but to find significance and meaning inside of it?
That’s what this book is about. This book is for the stay-at-home mom and the office job dad. It’s for the regular church member and the ordinary citizen. It’s for the person who has ever looked at the seemingly mundane details of life and wondered if they are really doing anything that’s worthwhile. It’s for all of us ordinary people who are following an extraordinary God. My hope, as you read the book, is that you would be awakened to the myth of the ordinary as you see an extraordinary God who is constantly moving and working. I’m praying that you might see the greater purposes in a few specific, but often ordinary areas of life that we tend to push to the margin. And maybe, when we get to the end, we will have begun to God, and life, and a whole new way. Perhaps we will have begun to see that there really is no such thing as ordinary when you are following an extraordinary God.
If you’re interested in pre-ordering a copy, you can do so here. Again, the book releases on September 15.