3 Essentials for Finding Meaning in the Mundane

Saturday night, I had the privilege of attending the Grove City College Touring Choir and Alumni Touring Choir Retirement Concert honoring professor and director, Dr. Douglas Browne.  Dr. Browne is retiring after teaching at the college for over 30 years.  The concert was truly amazing.  It gave me a small glimpse into the beautiful sounds of heaven.

At the end of the concert, Dr. Browne received a very long (and well-deserved) standing ovation.  I was moved by his deflection of personal praise as he commented that the praise belongs to God.

As we were standing in the lobby, a friend asked me about becoming a professor at Grove City College.  This would be quite an amazing job, but I’m not sure I have the credentials for such a position.  I responded how great it was to see someone being sent off into retirement with such fanfare.

After working at the same place for over eighteen years, I can say that I haven’t seen anyone sent off with such celebration with the exception of our previous branch manager who retired after working for the company for over forty years.  Maybe I’m a little jealous realizing that my send off from my current employer will most likely be met with a retirement watch, a pat on the back, and a simple thank you.

I want my years of service to mean more.  I want to know that I left a legacy.  I want to be remembered.

Is this response legitimate?  I think so.  But it made me think a lot more about finding meaning in the mundane.

Don’t get me wrong.  I like my job.  I like what I do most days.  I like the fact that I get to help people succeed every day.  And I like the fact that I get to come in and help people make decisions that honor the company and our customers.  But am I doing something that matters?

I think it’s important to have a perspective of humility when we think about leaving a legacy.  With this in mind, I kept coming back to these thoughts that are essential to finding meaning in the mundane.

3 Essentials for Finding Meaning in the Mundane

  1. Don’t seek the praise of man.  This is tough.  I’m a people-pleaser.  I want people to say good things about Jon Stolpe.  This is misdirected desire.  Jesus warns against those who seek the praise of man:  Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him.  But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”  John 12:42-43
  2. Seek to build a treasure that lasts.  We strive after success.  We strive after wealth.  We strive after material items.  We strive after fame.  These things don’t last.  They fade away.  We can’t take them with us when we leave this life.  We need to come at life from a different perspective.  What we do matters.  We can point others to Christ.  This matters far more than a fancy retirement watch.  Jesus reminds us of the importance of building up a treasure for heaven:  “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Matthew 6:19-21
  3. Do it all in the name of the Lord.  It doesn’t matter what you do.  You may be a garbage collector.  You may be an operations manager for a construction company.  You may be a teacher, a policeman, a cashier, a farmer, or a librarian.  You have a choice to make.  Who are you going to serve?  And how are you going to serve?  My challenge to you (and me) is this:  Serve God, and serve Him with everything you have.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17

Are you struggling to find meaning in the mundane?  I challenge you to look at what you’re doing with these three things in mind.

How do you find meaning in what you are doing each day?

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