wocket in my pocket

Looking for the unexpected in the mundane.

Glory in the Humble Arts

on October 27, 2017

I made up that term for something that I find hard to describe. Let me just give you some definitions to clarify what a humble art is.

Humble, adj. : small in size, lowly, modest, not arrogant or loud

Art, n. : the production or expression of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance

Humble Art: an apparently small gesture, unpretentiously done to beautify a space or fill a need. People who practices humble arts becomes skilled at producing a sense of celebration and excellence around their craft.

pexels-photo-263168

Glory, n. : eminence, luminosity, honor, distinction bestowed by common consent

To glory in the humble arts is to learn to love doing what you were created for. Do you feel that? Can you say, “This. This is what I am supposed to do right now.” If you can’t think what that might be, just be really quiet for a minute and then do what is right in front of you. If you cannot dredge up any feeling of worth for the job, pretend it is for the king.

Because it is. If you love Jesus, you know that the reason you exist is to bring Him glory, to enjoy Him forever, to serve Him willingly.  It has very little to do with how gratified you feel about your calling. You want to be happy? Practice being happy. Stop whining. Just stop.

What I just wrote is the pep talk I have given myself many times. I learn slowly, but I am learning. Did your mom ever tell you, “You can learn to enjoy doing dishes,” like mine did? I used to sigh and roll my eyes, but now I am wiser and I know she was right.

I watched a lady pinch the edges of a pie crust once, and it came to me: This is art! She really enjoys this, and her pies are beautiful. Folks, she did it for a living. She had a bakery and she produced enough pies in a day to put me into a stupor. (I have never embraced the art of pie making to the point of excellence. I do get this concept though.)

The thing about learning to love what you do is that it gives your work luminescence. There is an unmistakable glow from a piece of work done by a humble artist. The lowly is elevated and there is glory attached to it somehow.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven.” Mt. 5:16

Do you see how the glory of the ordinary, by the very nature of its ordinariness, brings glory to God? It’s not normal to sink your heart and soul into doing blah things joyfully and well, so that they are good works. It catches the attention and inspires those who get to bask in the glory. This in turn reflects glory to the Father in heaven who gives what it takes to embrace the everyday grinding, mixing, kneading, baking. So what if it’s only a crusty loaf of bread consumed in an hour?

It is not a wrong concept at all to slice that bread and whisper, “Jesus, this is my worship. Again.” Don’t worry. He will take care of the glory part.

 

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8 responses to “Glory in the Humble Arts

  1. Becca says:

    Thank-you for this! It just speaks to my heart what God was trying to tell me about doing the mundane serving willingly instead of begrudgingly.

  2. El says:

    This is perhaps the most liberating truth I have discovered as a wife and mother. I don’t exist to be happy. My role goes on, and how I choose to go about that, MAKES me happy!

  3. M says:

    Thank you! So inspiring! that’s just what I needed to hear this Saturday morning 🙂

  4. Mrs L says:

    Thank you! Just what I needed for this morning. Circumstances don’t need to rule (and ruin) my day! I can choose to pick up the broken pieces; take a hold of the grumpy attitude and CHOOSE to be happy! I learn slowly too! It takes less effort to NOT choose but the outcome is very disagreeable…I think I shall deliberately CHOOSE to be happy and do my humble art.

  5. Luci says:

    Good, good words. I need to hear them. I struggle so with loving the daily stuff. But I do know the wonderful joy of choosing to be happy and actually feeling true happiness follow. Thanks for writing, Dorcas.

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