Day after day they pour forth speech, and night after night they display knowledge. (Psalms 19:2 WEB)
As a youngster and even as a young man I had dreams of adventure. I wondered what I could do with my life that would earn the respect of the world around me. That’s what life was supposed to be about. I thought about being a musician with dreams of writing that one special tune that people would remember forever. I thought about writing the theological masterpiece that would convince anyone and everyone to accept my view of God. I considered writing the great American novel. Over the years, a number of ideas came and went.
I haven’t done any of those things. Yes, I wrote songs but don’t ask me to sing them. Trust me; you don’t want to hear them. I wrote numerous sermons and articles on theology but nothing to shake the religious foundations of the world. I even wrote a few stories along the way for fun and family. The closest I came to my dreams of adventure were the travels I had around the globe. But even those were just doing normal things day after day. As the world appears smaller and smaller folks aren’t as impressed with world travel as they were in my youth.
So, what do I do? As a missionary, some folks think I’m always on the cutting edge of converting the masses to Christ day after day. In one sense I am. Day after day I do my work, my ministry, to bring the message of Christ to the world in as many ways as I can. In another sense, I’m not on the cutting edge of ministry. Day after day I do my work, my ministry, to bring the message of Christ to the world by carefully doing my work. No mysterious techniques, no miraculous presentations, just getting done what needs to be done. I remember many a normal day while living and serving in Austria.
When I went to the mission day after day I usually saw the same things. I experienced the routines of life. I walked out my door and down the street. Most mornings I’d say good morning to the older gentleman walking his long-haired dachshund. I smiled at him and he smiled at me. When I reached the bus stop day after day I’d see the same people pass by. The young folks are headed to school. Some walked, some waited for a bus, some rolled along on their scooters or roared by on their motorcycles. A young mom same to the bus stop with her daughter most mornings. She helped carry her daughter’s extra bags to the stop and then sent her off fully loaded for a day at school. She read the Salzburger News on the bus each morning and got off somewhere after my stop.
There were shops near the bus stop which opened as I waited for the bus to arrive. Day after day they had their routines. They opened their doors. They met the delivery truck and unloaded enough to stock the shop. They put out the signs for the day or rolled the garment and shoe racks outside to catch the eye of the passerby. As the bus approached, the driver smiled and nodded. He knew who I was and didn’t ask to see my pass. We greeted each other as I got on board and said goodbye when I exited.
When I walked beside the train platform I’d see the same group of people waiting for the train. I’d work in the same office and do the same things day after day. Sometimes the unusual or unexpected crept into the day but it was normally very routine and uneventful. But it was the routine which kept the staff working. It was the routine that sent the message of the Gospel from its source into our system. It was the routine which sent the message of God’s grace from our system to its destination. It was the routine which brought a message of hope to people in need. It was completing the routine which declared God’s glory day after day.
As the heavens declare God’s glory, day after day, they only display what they are in God’s creation. We forget this sometimes. I forget this sometimes. Like the heavens, we declare God’s glory not because of who we are but because of who He is. It’s not a matter of composing some memorable song, or organizing the theological interpretations of the world or writing a great novel. It’s a matter of allowing God to demonstrate His glory in us because we are His. When we go about our day after day business, remain faithful to the Father, complete the things He has placed in our lives, we declare His glory and the world can look on us and see Him.