“What no one ever shares with you when you’re young is that Christianity is boring. No one tells you that. That Christianity, for the most part, is boring. No one tells you that Christianity is a 70 to 80 year grind in becoming more kind, more gentle, more giving, more joyful, more patient, more loving.
You learn that God isn’t in the rocking praise band or the amped up worship experience. What you learn after college is that Holy Ground is standing patiently in a line. You learn that Holy Ground is learning to listen well to your child, wife or co-worker. Holy Ground is being a reliable and unselfish friend or family member and being a good nurse when someone is sick. Holy Ground is awkward and unlikely friendships. Holy Ground is often just showing up.
Being more and more like Jesus is a million boring little things.
No one ever tells you that when you’re young.
Just like no one ever tells you just how risky and revolutionary it all is.
That a truly radical life of following Jesus is made up of a million boring little things.”
I came across this quote recently, as I was working through the six marks of discipleship and pondering our life together. It’s true that what we remember best tends to be the “mountain top” experiences, but it’s also true, as I’m sure you know well, that there’s a whole lot of life in between those experiences. The walk of faith is not so much a sprint from high to high, but more like a slow slog through the mundane everyday. It’s about, as Joshua said, choosing this day whom you will serve. And then waking up tomorrow and doing it again.
But it’s also about learning to take the long view. About seeing that God does not share our burden of time and will work at whatever pace God prefers. Transformation, the daily dying and rising of our baptismal journey, is a lifetime journey. It’s a journey of a million boring little things.
It’s a good reminder as we start back into the school year. If you ask a kid from day to day what they’ve learned, they’ll probably tell you, “nothing.” But ask a high school senior what they’ve learned since 8th grade and, as long as they haven’t slept through the last four years, there has been quite a transformation.
The six marks of discipleship (prayer, worship, reading the bible, serving, healthy relationships, and giving) are rarely glamorous or exciting. But they are the foundation of transformation. They are practices that might not seem like they are “doing anything” in the day to day, but measured over a lifetime add up to a radical reorientation of our hearts and minds.
And so as we continue to trudge ahead, we live in the day to day and take the long view. We know that our transformation together will be marked by grace-filled “mountain top experiences” with lots and lots of life in between. But we also know that in the “life in between”, God will meet us there, too. In the million boring, radical, revolutionary, life-changing things. Ready?
Grace and peace,