"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

07 May 2005

The Daily Round

from Oswald Chambers, 21 October:

“Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on the water is easy to impulsive pluck, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is a different thing. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he followed Him afar off on the land. We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the strain magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.”

Now, obviously, the grace of God is a tremendous wonder in crises – but I have lived what Chambers means here. Something – can it really be pride? perhaps I am too proud to admit it – rises up in me and says, I can get through this, I will not make a fool of myself, I will survive; and often I do manage it. And we see people manage it day after day who know nothing of the grace of God.

But the daily round? That indeed is a different story. Grading papers, attending committee meetings, prepping classes, making the course website work; creating a dinner, washing dishes, reading to my son, listening to my husband . . . These activities are “only” the makings of daily life, “only” what I ought to do in any case. But these are exactly the activities that I fret and fume over, and exactly the activities in which God calls for excellence.

I do not tolerate short cuts in my writing. May I learn not to tolerate short cuts in the far more important daily round of my life.


Fieldfleur said...

I love that Chamber quote! Reminds me of Merton too! All those commonplace struggles = that's the locale of walk-in-faith. I'm on a big Message kick now and found these helpful verses: Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Matt.6 Thank goodness!

alaiyo said...

Thanks for sharing that, Teri. Sometimes hearing it in a different "language" makes us remember what it's all about.

amelia ruth said...

Oh so true. I am such an idealist: being fed to the lions is more glamourous and appealing than feeding my family (as I will be doing for the next three weeks, as my mother hates cooking). Thanks for the reminder that discipleship is found not in my ideals but in my daily obedience even in the mundane and the annoying and the time consuming.

Oh, by the way, I just found My Utmost for His Highest at McKays for a dollar. You may be sure I am now the proud possessor!