Do you ever get bored with the same mundane routine? I think I’ve washed the same clothes now each week for the last six months at least, there’s always another meal to serve and clean up, and I feel like I’m constantly rushing the kids to hurry and get in the car to go somewhere. Is this what life is supposed to look like? For many of us, we wake up in the morning and do the same thing we did that same day the week before – over and over and over again. It’s easy to feel like life has gotten into a rut.
But, then for some of us, we get a wake-up call that there is more to life than the everyday monotony. That can come in the form of hearing a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, a health issue of our own, or a catastrophic weather event can snap us out of the humdrum into a place where we feel the urgency of the shortness of this life. We begin to pray more fervently and try to open our eyes to the eternal viewpoint that God has.
I remember a night recently where I climbed into bed feeling discontent. I had been dreaming of a bigger house, nicer furniture, etc. Then I turned on the news and watched the story of a family who barely escaped their burning home as everything they owned went up in flames. The mom said with joy, “I’m just so thankful we all made it out safely!” My perspective changed immediately. What is most important in life? Do we need more wealth, more stuff, more time or can we look beyond the hear and now?
Jesus told the following parable in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8:5-15:
5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”
When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
“‘though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.
11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
As I read this parable, I thought about those of us who as we go on our way get choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures so that we don’t see God’s fruit in our lives. Mark 4:19 says it slightly differently: “but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
If your life is feeling humdrum, are you in the correct mindset and thinking about God’s kingdom? Are you producing fruit? Are you seeing lives changed around you? Are you noticing the little and big ways that God is moving in us, through us and around us? Are you praying for others, and are you praying for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done? Are you taking time to worship Him and get rooted in His Word?
I always wanted to be “average” – to grow up, get married and have children. My husband said that he can’t stand the thought of just average – he wants there to be more to life than just the everyday. I think that we can have better than average – not necessarily living the “American dream” of bigger wealth and more stuff. But, we can live with an eternal perspective and watch as God’s Word produces fruit in our lives, as Matthew 13:23 says “He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
What are ways that we can get out of the rut of mundane? First, looking straight at the passage, the things that choke out the productive fruit are “worries, deceitfulness of wealth and desires for other things.” So, can we cast our cares upon God, can we remember that we don’t need more money or more things to be used by Him? Can we set aside some personal desires? Can we not be choked by the anxieties of life? As Luke 21:34 warns us “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.”
Instead, even though we may have the same routine to care for our family, can we ask God to give us His eyes and heart for those around us? Can we serve breakfast and say grace with true thankfulness in our heart? Can we be intentional about the time we spend with our children, teaching them about God and the Bible? Can we remember – even in the toughest of times – that this life is fleeting and what truly matters is eternity? Can we ask God to open our eyes to what He cares about and pray about those things? Can we not let the ‘humdrum’ or anxieties of everyday life suck the fruitfulness from the years we are given on this earth? Can we live victoriously, knowing that we have a higher calling than this?
Father God, we confess that there are times that wealth and the desires for other things cloud our good judgment. We confess that the anxieties of life and worry about the little things can choke out the Word from our lives. Help us not worry about the ‘little things’ like what we will eat or wear, but give us an eternal perspective. God, we know that at times larger events can make us snap our attention back to where it should be. But, God, we’d rather learn the easy way. We want to read this passage from the Bible, understand what it means, and do what it says. We ask that You would produce a crop far beyond what we realize. May we obey Your teaching and strive for better than average. We love You, Lord Jesus. In Your Name we pray, AMEN!