What percentage of your days would you describe as stellar? I am talking about the days that went so well you don’t even feel like you need sleep at the end of them. I am referring to that span of time where everything felt choreographed to happy music and you just did a brilliant job.
As a stay-at-home teacher-mom, I can tell you that a lot of my days feel like I am stumbling over rocks instead of dancing on the beach. We have our brilliant moments at our house, where everybody likes the food, joins in to the conversation and laughs at the same things. “Ahh, this is wonderful!” I think. Then somebody gets their feelings hurt and I step out of the brilliance and deal with the earthbound problem of an unkind joke or an oversensitive person who can’t laugh at themselves. It would be more fun if the high spot wasn’t so slippery.
That’s life. It’s up and down and in and out and flat on my face crying for mercy and standing in awe with hands raised in worship. Remember Joshua? It happened to him too, and to pretty much every other person, ever.
Here I go making a lot of general statements. We crave excitement. We love the spotlight. We are important. We want to feel good about our lives. We need a lot of money to do the things that make us feel happy. We pine to go back to the beach the week after we got home. We want noble work.
We know we are made for brilliance. This makes it a little difficult to accept the very muddy world we live in, where the sparkle keeps rubbing off.
I asked Gabe how many ordinary sick people come through the ER doors for every spectacular chance to save a trauma victim. His conservative estimate was one hundred. Just routine broken arms, flus, addicts looking for a high, and then one person who is dying and truly needs the training and skills of the ER staff to pull him back into life. All the other people need them too, but they aren’t as exciting.
School teachers work this way too. For every child who really wants to learn and gets excited about a new lesson, there are a few others who have to be coaxed along in the very same lesson. They don’t get to quit just because it feels like they are sliding backwards instead of gaining ground some days.
Anybody who ever came home flying high from Bible school or a missions trip knows how hard it can be to be kind to the commoners at home. They are so exasperatingly stuck in their own ruts and so mundanely humdrum and their needs are so silly.
Even newly-weds who vow they will never become dull and prosaic toward each other find themselves, at some point, working hard at their marriage to keep it fresh. According to research, the constant euphoria of the honeymoon would literally frizzle the life out of a body if sustained for years at a time.
Apparently brilliance isn’t sustainable this side of heaven. It isn’t the goal we should be working toward. Instead we need to lean hard toward faithfulness. The assignments in our lives will be really boring in some ways and nobody may even notice that we deserve a star for our chart. We act like little children, pulling the covers up over our bed in a slip-shod fashion, then begging for a piece of candy as a reward for our hard work. Really, the only reason we made the bed at all was for the candy.
Faithfulness does the steady, hard work because God is pleased by the heart that bows to His plan. We wouldn’t see any need to get up and keep on going if the crowns were handed out now. The brilliance is coming; we even get to see little bits of it now. It really is coming, but not just yet.
Joshua’s promises had a condition. Look at chapter 1:7-9.
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
It was pretty important that he follow his instructions, wasn’t it? I don’t know what yours are for this day, but they are right in front of you. Mine? I go to cook cereal and brew coffee. I will leave the tiara behind. Join me?