Have you ever thought that you needed to do “big things for God”? Have you ever felt like you weren’t living up to the standard of a “good Christian” if you weren’t giving up all that you have to donate to the poor or to become a lifelong missionary? While there are people that may be called to do so, most people throughout history to this day, including you and I, will continue to lead ordinary, mundane lives. But we get lots of sermons, books, and resources that heavily encourage us to do big, monumental things for God.
In this book, The God of the Mundane, Matthew B. Redmond asks a very important question, “Is there a God of the mundane?” Does God care about the parent that is barely able to stay awake after changing countless diapers and feedings throughout the day for their child? Does God care for the individual that is struggling with their job? These are all believers but there is nothing seemingly significant about their day-to-day roles.
The answer to Redmond’s question shouldn’t be surprising (spoiler alert: it’s in the title). He argues that most of us will not be called to be like the apostles in the New Testament, but rather, most of us will be the audience that the apostles wrote to. In 146 pages, Redmond reminds us that God seeks obedience and faithfulness in whatever season, circumstance, gifts, and talents He has given to us. The reality is that the majority of our life will be filled with the mundane and that is totally okay. We may remain nameless in history, as did most of the readers of the epistles, but we will be remembered by the God who knows and sees all.
We are not saved from mediocrity and obscurity, the ordinary and the mundane. We are saved in the midst of it. We are not redeemed from the mundane. We are redeemed from the slavery of thinking our mundane life is notPage 62, The God of the Mundane
I was very encouraged to read this book. It challenged me. I have definitely listened to sermons and read books that challenged me to live radically and boldly for Jesus. I have grappled with similar questions of whether God truly wants me to continue to live normally in my profession, doing what seems to be somewhat insignificant tasks in light of eternity. However, it would be a lie to think that where God has called each of us is without a purpose. There is a purpose. It does take courage to follow Jesus as a nobody, but perhaps being faithful in the mundane, especially joyfully obedient, can be quite extraordinary. It would reflect dying to ourselves, the self that seeks fame and glory. Only a God of the mundane will be able to tell the story of how He sustained His people who live ordinary lives and reflect His image in ordinary ways.