Zealous for Good Works

Vic Falls

Is it sad that living in this beautiful of a place can start to feel routine?

I’m kidding, this was a gorgeous view from a little get-away my hubby and I took on our way home from a recent work trip, and it was anything but routine. Seeing the beauty of Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, was breathtaking. After taking this photo we followed the path and got SOAKED on a nearby bridge just from all the mist the falls produce. These are the kinds of things Disneyland and Water World try to emulate, but we get to experience the real deal. And let me tell you, it is awesome! God’s creation is amazing, and I pray for more moments where I can do nothing but stand in awe and experience His creation up close and personal.

Sadly, now that I have been home for a few weeks, I feel settled into the office part of my job, no traveling or anything special to look forward to in the next couple of months, and I can go from the on-top-of-the-world-in-awe attitude to the stuck-in-routine-mundane kind of place just like that. It’s probably a symptom of my short attention span and craving for spontaneity as much as anything, but I can so easily forget the awesomeness of God and the privilege of living for Him when I go back to “normal life.” My weekdays become bogged down with a few classes, making dinner, and collapsing after spending a day in an office and reaching for any little bit of margin I can find in my routine-stricken life.

I have found myself asking God, what is the point in all of this? What should I be reaching for? Where do I want to be, and why am I not there right now? How can I keep from feeling so bored?

All of the answers seem on the tip of my tongue, but overall I was feeling a lack of zeal for where I am lately. It feels crazy to complain because everything in my life is just okay. There’s nothing too major, nothing totally out of hand, but nothing over the top either. How do I just be?

God has been seeming to answer in an equally subtle way, and has been revealing life means so much more when I shift my focus from the mundane, and look up for opportunity. He has done amazing things for me, and I get to walk in that every day of my life. Some days I get to walk through a waterfall, other days I’m stuck with a pile of dishes, but beyond the task at hand, there is so much more He wants for me.

Our small group has been reading through the book of Titus, picked for its convenient length of three chapters, and it has been helpful to dig in deep during my season of boredom to discover part of the vision God has for me through Paul’s words to the church through his co-worker, Titus. Titus was sent to what some would consider a challenging community in Crete, known for lawlessness and reckless living. He was asked to appoint leaders in the churches there, and to me this letter is calling Titus to help the churches wake up and remember the lives God has created for them. In turn, it’s helping me to wake up and remember the intentions God has for me and how I sell it short when I get stuck in boredom and the mundane.

After describing different ways the kingdom of God can manifest itself in different circumstances and life stages, Paul reminds Titus to remind the believers the meaning behind it all,

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing for the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus, Christ who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14

In other words, wake up! Jesus came to reveal to us the grace and forgiveness of God to redeem us from the sinful ways we wanted to live, and instead He saved us and is redeeming us and showing us the ways we were meant to live right now. He is making us into a pure people, set apart for His glory, eager to proclaim who He is through our good works.

I found myself thinking, wow, well when you put it that way, it’s pretty lame I have been choosing to look at the boring and mundane parts of my life instead of the amazing ways God is using my normal, everyday, life to point to who He is. He does not have a boring routine planned for my life, he is purifying me, giving me opportunities to share in His mission and carry out His good works. This needs to motivate me, not only when I am staring Him in the face at Victoria Falls, but also when I have the opportunity to be faithful in the everyday, in loving my husband, in being a kind person at the grocery store, in caring for my friends, enemies, and anyone else I come into contact with, remembering we are all made in the image of God.

I am doing myself and my God a disservice when I see my life as just mundane.

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy by the washing, regeneration, and renewal of the Holy Spirit, who he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:3-7

Look at the where we have come from, and look at where His extravagant love has intended for us instead. May we walk in the self-controlled, upright and godly ways He has called us toward a life where death cannot separate us from God. He is making us pure. Let us be present with Him today.

Wherever you are, whether it feels mundane like mine has this week, or maybe you are barely hanging on, or perhaps you’re on top of the world, remember the life that God has called us to this day. Seek His face and His intentions for your day, rather than getting distracted with the busyness of this life. Let us spur one another on to the good works he has for us to tell about his great love to those that haven’t yet tasted and seen His glory.