Monotony – things we do over and over again.
Not always by choice. Sometimes by necessity.
Think: feeding your children, going to work, regular exercise, or putting gas in your car.
Sometimes our lives feel like a long string of “regular” activities. Whether we choose them or they’re simply necessary for survival, we can get caught up in the monotony of it all and miss the magic in the middle.
Today, as our family sits in quarantine, I feel ya. We’ve had the discussion on which day of quarantine we’re actually on and have yet to come to a consensus. We currently “live” as a family of four in a barracks room in South Korea.
I would love to tell you all of the beautiful things this new country has to offer, but honestly, I can’t.
We arrived last week. The sun was setting as we finally left the airport having come through customs, baggage claim, and that initial briefing. We had traveled for around 30 hours at that point, so the forty-minute bus ride to our new post was spent mostly trying to stay awake. Upon arrival, we were given the “Welcome to Korea” Covid test and taken to our barracks room. The sun had set long before we moved in with our mounds of luggage.
Waking up the following morning, we only have the view out our window, which is mostly a large yard where we spend our outside time for 45 minutes to an hour each day. Truly, our only idea of what anything looks like is what we see on youtube.
Monotony. We have settled into it for sure.
We brought books, computers/tablets, and school, also entertaining ourselves with virtual in-processing including driving tests and phone plans. It’s been a unique time for us all.
In the midst of the monotony, though, are moments, all strung together to connect both our time in Kentucky to what God has for us in our time here.
Moments that matter.
Scripture tells us, “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17).
I have read this verse a thousand times in my life. Today I am reminded of the word “everything.” All of it. The monotonous of today still has a Kingdom purpose even when I don’t see it. In the few verses prior to this, Paul is giving instructions on how to live the Christian life. He says,
Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.Colossians 3:12-16
There are no caveats to this instruction. He doesn’t say: when it’s fun, when it’s exciting, when you can tell it’s making a difference, when….
No caveats. No conditions.
We find ourselves in places of monotony all the time – going to work, answering emails for the thousandth time, grocery shopping, helping our kids with homework, cleaning the bathroom. Monotonous moments God still uses.
Today, we can pray for open hearts, eyes, and ears to be aware of what the Lord is doing in our midst, to look people in the eye and truly see them, to do the things that are necessary because it’s right, and to seek the Lord through it all. This is my prayer for us all today.
If you’re caught in the monotonous moments of life – remember that God is there too.
Looking for other encouragement during your transitions? You can find them here: