August / September 2023

Redeeming the Mundane

By Alyssa Prins

As I wipe yet another runny nose, the futility of motherhood begins to press upon my spirit. As I wash the dishes, the repetition of the mundane feels suffocating. I look at the heaps of laundry, the crumbs decorating the floors, the bills to pay, the grocery list to transform into nourishing meals, and I start to believe that my time is being spent fruitlessly. Surely God doesn’t want me stuck here; His plans to use my talents must be more grand, more sacred than dirty diapers and endless housekeeping.

A. W. Tozer speaks to this dichotomy: “One of the greatest hindrances to internal peace the Christian encounters is the common habit of dividing our lives into two areas—the sacred and the secular.” He outlines the things we tend to deem “sacred”–prayer, Bible reading, hymn singing, church attendance, and “other such acts as spring directly from faith.” The secular things–“eating, sleeping, working, looking after the needs of the body, and performing all our dull and prosaic duties here on earth. These we often do reluctantly and with many misgivings, apologizing to God for what we consider a waste of time and strength.” How many of us—women, sisters, mothers—wrestle with the feeling that we “ought” to be doing more? That the daily duties of life are interfering with what God really wants for us, and we’re somehow missing out on it?

However, Scripture itself tells us differently. Job 42:2 says, “I know that You can do all things, no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” Isaiah 25:1 speaks to the far-sighted purposes of God: “Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” There is also the oft-quoted verse from Psalm 139:13: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” And Paul even addresses the mundane in 1 Corinthians 10:31– “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

The split between “sacred” and “secular” is a false one. The time spent singing a hymn is just as valuable as the time spent folding socks. God, the One Who knit us together, Who planned things long ago, Whose purpose cannot be thwarted, has not placed us randomly. We are not at the mercy of our family circumstances, our work schedule, our unfulfilled dreams. We have been chosen for this time in history, this neighborhood, these coworkers, these children, to glorify God. He is present in our every task—sending an email, cleaning a toilet, eating a meal—and He is using those seemingly meaningless, ineffective, earthly things to redeem and refine us, if we are willing to allow Him to do so.

About the Author

Alyssa Prins lives in the midwest with her husband and their menagerie. God has equipped her with an eagerness to educate and encourage fellow believers, which she attempts to render through the written word.