Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Life Is Like a Box Of... Dirt?

Exodus 36. This chapter isn't packed full of awesomeness by any means, but that doesn't mean God doesn't show us a bit of His heart through it.
In this chapter, we are told for the third time in the last fifteen chapters about how to construct the tabernacle. Each time is described in immense detail and with pretty much the same words each time. Almost as if the author used an ancient copy and paste for each description. By the third time reading through this description, my eyes were beginning to glaze over. I mean, let's be honest, I don't really care how they made their portable tabernacle. But as this thought crossed my mind, I realized something... God does. God cared so much about how they built His house that he told us about it not once, not twice, but three times.


I think there could be several reasons. The first that comes to mind is that He cares about attention to detail. God not only wants us to do His will and use our skill sets to His glory, but he wants to do the job well and spend time putting attention and meaning into the littlest details of the work.
But I also think there's more than that.
While this is true, I have seen time and time again that my God is not a God of the usual, conventional, or predictable. My God plays by His own rules. And these rules don't always make sense to us at first.

Of course He wants us to put meaning into the littlest details of our work, using the skills and abilities He's gifted us to use. That only makes sense. But what if it goes deeper than that?
What if this goes farther than just our work, hobbies, and talents? What if this goes into our everyday lives? The mundane. The boring. The routine.
What then?

I've come to say recently that the Old Testament can have some really epic parts, but all too frequently we stumble across chapters that are about as exciting as a box of dirt. Chapters like Exodus 36, for example. Now what do you do when you come across these boring "box of dirt" chapters? You can do what many do and decide, "You know, I'm not getting anything out of this chapter, book, or even the bible at all. Let's just give up!"
But that's not how I roll. I decided in March that I was going to read through the whole bible. All of it. And I would write something on each chapter I came to the day I found myself there.
So, planting myself firmly in that boring box of dirt, I waited. And while I waited, I tried to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit through the irritated complaints of the lazy adult in my mind begging the child God wants me to be, "Just get out of the sand box! You have a suitcase to pack, sleep to get, and yummy citrus tilapia to eat. There is nothing worthwhile here. IT'S JUST DIRT!"
"But I made a promise," I argue back. "There's gold here in this sandbox, I know it!"

Surely you remember being a child and being absolutely sure you had buried treasure in your back yard, or dinosaur bones, or that you could dig a tunnel to China, build a time machine, or be a world famous adventurer. Maybe you don't remember, but I do. I remember believing these things with such certainty that no one in the world could tell me otherwise.
Well, God wants us to be those children, hunting tirelessly for nuggets of His truth, beauty, and wisdom in every part of our lives. But sadly, we tend to listen to the other voice, the one telling us to leave this hunt for other things.
The thing the other voice doesn't realize is that life may not always be glamorous. In fact, it's usually as boring as a box of dirt, but that doesn't mean God isn't in it, with us through the mundane and boring.

Recently, I read an article titled, "15 Questions To Ask While Dating." The idea, was things you should think about before considering marrying someone.
One of the questions read: "Do we enjoy doing the mundane together?" Laundry, budgets, grocery shopping, chores, and all the other very not exciting parts of life that make up a lot of what marriage is.
But if marriage is supposed to be a picture of what our relationship with God should be like, shouldn't we be looking for Him in even the boring everyday? Shouldn't we look for ways to worship Him and give Him glory not only in awesome spiritual highs, but also in the dreadful lows and the boring boxes of dirt?


  1. Beautiful observations Katy. And yes, marriage is a perfect illustration of this profound mystery...that there is yet value in those chapters that seem like boxes of dirt. After 21 years of marriage, the word is greatly enriched by the history of faithfulness...and that takes time. God's faithfulness to us means we can trust His brilliance and perfect providence even in a chapter of the Bible or a chapter of life that seems barren or redundant.

    1. Yeah, I was close to giving up on the chapter, and that thought just popping into my mind. "If marriage is made up a lot of mundane boring parts of life, and marriage should mirror our relationship with God, then it's not a big deal that this stage in my life seems like it's going nowhere fast. In fact, not only is it not a big deal, it's perfectly normal!"

  2. I meant to write the word LOVE is greatly enriched...