There is something in all of us that makes us want to know for certain that what we do matters, not just to us, but to others. When the things we do every day feel small and insignificant, it doesn’t seem to matter. Sometimes, in our feeling that nobody notices or nobody cares, it’s easy to become careless or lazy.
I had days like that, especially when I worked the midnight shift as a nurse. It seemed those hours were filled with the usual routine: turning a patient every two hours or walking the halls to check on each patient throughout the night. These tasks seemed mundane. Giving a back rub in the middle of the night, or bringing more ice chips to a thirsty patient when I had just sat down to chart, could have become a drudgery instead of an opportunity to do my best.
I had days like that, especially when we had six kids under twelve. It seemed my days were filled with diapers, dishes, cleaning, and laundry. In between those endless tasks, I recall helping with homework, wiping noses, settling childish squabbles, and making sure teeth were brushed. This routine repeated itself day after day after day.
I have days like that, especially when it seems I’ve invested so much and nothing changes. I recall days when I’d rather not give another ounce of energy because it seems I’ve got nothing left to give. I’d rather hole up in a corner somewhere and just take care of Me, Myself, and I.
The Mundane of that Basket
Do you know what I do when I feel overwhelmed by the mundane of my life? I remember a basket, the one that was used during the night to save the life of Saul (later referred to as Paul).
When Saul met Jesus on the Damascus Road, his life changed forever. An educated and elite man among the Jews as well as a Roman, he became a teacher who brought the Gospel to the Gentiles. From being the pursuer, he became the pursued.
Because of his dramatic change of direction, Saul went from being a friend of the Jews to one of their worst enemies. Instead of giving their applause, the Jewish people wanted to kill him. Saul was hiding in Damascus, and the Jews watched for him day and night at the city gates so they could kill him.
One night, the disciples lowered Paul down outside the city wall. You know what they used? A basket. Because there was a basket that was sure and sturdy, he was able to escape that night. His life was spared.
The Mundane and Eternity
I doubt that the person who made that basket ever knew that her basket was used to save Paul’s life. What would have happened if the basket had not been securely woven? What would have happened if the twine used in that basket had given way and Paul had fallen to the ground? Who might have heard the noise and commotion? Who might have found out that Paul was trying to escape?
What if the basket had not been sturdy? What if the person weaving the basket had decided not to care? What if he had said, “It doesn’t matter; nobody notices what I do.” What IF?
We never know when what we do or how we do it might save a life – or a soul. The mundane matters. That’s why we need to give it our best, and our all. Every Single Day.