Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Joy in the Mundane

"Hi, how are you?"
"Good. How are you?"
"I'm having a great time, thanks for asking."

The postal worker replied with such enthusiasm that I couldn't resist retracing my steps to the seminary's post office window. A small campus has its arbitrary "how are you" greeting, but this exuberant response? Especially from the UPS man?

The man explained that he tried to enjoy his job, even when he woke up in the morning and monotonously delivering packages was the last thing on his wish list. "See, you can either go through life complaining about all the things you dislike, or you can find happiness in even the mundane. Life is what you make of it."

Since then, I've seen the UPS man delivering packages down my street on two more occasions. He smiles and waves, and I'm convinced that the joy he has is genuine.

I have to suppress the urge to cheer him on as he places boxes on my neighbor's door. His joy is contagious.

I have great difficulty in finding joy in the "mundane." I'm currently taking two different Hebrew language classes, and the overexposure to textual criticism has been enough to pull my hair out. I work as a student office assistant and am incessantly given mountains of papers to file, none of which will ever be referred back to. I'm often tempted to dump them in the trash, where they won't be missed. I am joyless. I am not joyful enough to exult in monotony. "But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony," G.K. Chesterton writes. Children say "do it again," but we adults grow weary. He continues:
"It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be absolute necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."
(Orthodoxy, 1943).
I want to learn how to approach life with the same kind of hopeful expectation that God can bring joy from the mundane.

Be filled with joy to the point of overflowing, so that every person you encounter has to retrace their steps to hear more.

This post has been adapted from my theology blog. To read similar posts, visit: http://crucifiedcondios.blogspot.com


  1. I loved reading this post. How quickly we lose our God-wonder, no? Thanks for your heart-felt words. I needed this today. =)
    Kristina J.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Kristina. I'm glad that this could speak to you. :)