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.

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