I pull the spoon out of the dishwasher and stack it with its fellow tablemates in the drawer. My motions are robotic. I do this same thing almost every single day. It is such a common task that I don’t even have to concentrate on what I am doing.
I push the clothes into the drum of the washing machine and reach up to grab the detergent. My mind is thinking about something else. There is no need to pay attention to each motion of the laundry routine. It is a common work in my life, and I have memorized the actions it takes to complete it.
“Grab your book bag.”
“Where are your shoes?”
“You will need a jacket today.”
All common phrases heard in my home each weekday morning. The same idea. The same routine. Over and over. And then almost always, I see the same results.
My life feels so common.
Being common doesn’t feel very empowering. It’s just so plain and normal. So mundane and run-of-the-mill. So regular. Isn’t that basically the definition of the word itself?
How can being common be significant?
How can my common life make a difference in this world? How can God use my common routine for His glory? How can common amount to anything at all?
But surely it does.
It just sometimes hides behind the extraordinary.
For example, in the Old Testament, Joseph does an amazing work of interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams in regards to a coming famine. He leads the Egyptians in the storing up of food for seven years in order to survive the impending drought. His ability and his leadership is so uncommon. He saves a nation from starvation.
But behind his uncommonness are the common. The farmers. The men and women who each day do the work of planting, and tending, and harvesting. The people who put their hands to the plow. The people whose mundane and run-of-the-mill tasks brought up the very food that was stored and that saved.
The common work provided daily bread for the saving of many lives.
Solomon, in his riches and splendor, in his uncommon life as a King of Israel, built a temple in Jerusalem that stunned the onlooker. It was majestic and extraordinary. But behind the amazing structure hid the men who cut the stones in the quarry. Who day-in and day-out did the heavy lifting. Whose brows dripped with sweat and whose muscles grew strong. They did the common daily difficult labor.
The common work laid the very foundation for the House of God.
A crowd of 5,000 hungry men sat waiting to hear Jesus. They then witnessed a wondrous moment when the lunch of a small boy fed them all. Their stomachs were full because of an uncommon miracle of God. Yet, behind the miracle, there was probably a mama who had simply packed her son’s lunch. She did the mundane, robotic task that she probably had done hundreds of times before. She did not know that the very hands of God would take the fruits of the labor, as meager as they were, and multiply them for the glory of God the Father.
The common work fed a multitude and pointed many to the power of God.
So my hands will continue to do the common work. To unload the dishes and reload the washing machine. To pack the book bags and tend to the growth of the children. To complete the mundane tasks that seem insignificant.
Because in the hands of God, the common is extraordinary, after all.
This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday community where bloggers are encouraged to write for about 5 minutes based on a one-word prompt. This week’s word: COMMON