Skip to main content

The Mundane Life

Here in West Michigan, we are enjoying ArtPrize, an open art competition that is like nothing you've ever seen (unless you've been to ArtPrize...).

I got to enjoy a lot of the works last weekend, in the company of two gorgeous women who also happen to be long-time friends from college days.  It was a blast!  One of the works that we saw was a film and sculpture/machine from artist Evertt Beidler whose work focused on the mundane life of going to work, going home, family life, and doing it all over again.  Which, when you think about it, is pretty much what all our lives are, but Mr. Beidler's view, in my opinion, was pretty grim.

We like variety.  We want to shake things up and experience new things....but not too much.  Think about it:  most of us choose to do the same things every day.  We all have jobs that require some amount of repetition, we tend to park in the same spots, watch the same shows, follow the same teams, eat the same foods.  While most of us want to break up the routine once in awhile, it is not very comfortable to do it ALL the time.  (Witness how relieved you are when you get back from vacation - you enjoyed the trip, but oh! So glad to be home!)

I don't think anyone wants to proclaim,  "I love the mundane life!" but in a way, we sort of have to.  We all have routines we have to live, if we want to have a balanced life, get a paycheck, keep normalcy in the family.  Otherwise, it's just chaos, and we humans don't do well with chaos.  The trick is finding things to love and enjoy in the mundane life.  For instance, my drive to and from work is pretty mundane, but if I choose to listen to praise and worship music during that time, then I turn it into a time of prayer.  I can do my job with a joy, sense of humor and exuberance or I can slog through the day.  It's the same day, either way, but I choose the manner in which I live it.

Mr. Beidler's piece seemed to miss that.  He wanted to say that people who choose an office job and a three-bedroom house in suburbia are living a ho-hum life, just a piece of a giant machine droning along.  He seemed to miss that fact that we all have a choice in how we experience that office job and life in suburbia:  we can be a cog in the machine or we can recognize how vital our little piece in the machine is, and choose to embrace that vitality of being part of a bigger reality.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Being faithful in the midst of pain

When we are in pain, it seems as if the whole world revolves around us - or should. We only pay attention to our immediate situation.

When our kids were younger, Eldest Son had a lot of problems. There was a time - months and months - where his issues seems to need all of Dear Husband's and my attention. I clearly remember thinking one day, "Whoa - I have GOT to pay attention to the other kids." It's not like I was neglecting them ... no, I was. Maybe it was necessary; we were literally trying to save our son's future, but it didn't make the realization hurt any less. And I couldn't get the time with them back.

Maybe it's a job. Maybe it's a health issue. Maybe it's caring for a child or an elderly parent. Whatever it is, we get sucked into a situation where hurt is involved and we begin to act like an ER doctor - plugging holes, clearing airways, keeping the person alive. That's it. We are keeping the situation alive.

Then things quiet d…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…