Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monotony

According to Dictionary.com it is:  wearisome uniformity or lack of variety, as in occupation or scenery.

Sounds about right.
Doing the same thing... over
and over

and over

and over.

I think you get the picture.

 Everybody struggles with this feeling at least once in their lifetime.

I mean getting up every morning
getting dressed
putting on makeup
going to work
home
shower
dress for bed
sleep
 repeat step one.

It can get very old. Very fast.

But at what point, when we are tired of monotony, does it become sin?
I think it's a VERY fine line.
   
For me, when I get tired of repetition, I become discontent.
Restless.
I lose trust.
Sometimes I even get angry.
Bitter.
Why do I have to do the same thing? Again.
Life loses its flavor.
At that point I'm "unhappy" emotionally.

My joy then, must come from some source other than an entertaining, always changing, life.
Life should always be fantastic. Always changing. Always different.
Our joy must come from the things around us.
Right? 
That's what the world says.

It constantly comes out with new gadgets to keep you occupied.
It comes out with new music.
New this.
New that.
Always pushing for something that satisfies.

 These only appeal to our physical happiness.
Aren't we supposed to be happy though?
Doesn't the Bible call us to be joyful?

It does, but, let's define some words here.

I listened to a sermon by John Piper recently called "Let Your Passions be Single."
Very good.
He talked about happiness being a physical thing, pertaining to our surroundings,
as opposed to joy, which is something that only God can create in you.

 So...
Happiness = physical, temporary
Joy = Eternal, God-given
We find joy in the fact that God is in control of the entire universe.
We find joy in the fact that God sent His Son to die for us.
Joy in Salvation.
Joy in Redemption.
Joy in Obeying (John 15:10-11)
Joy in Suffering. (James 1:2)
Things that cannot be obtained by money.
Things that cannot be achieved by "hard work"
True Joy. Comes from God.
That's what we are looking for.

Alright, back to my original topic.
Monotony.
So, can I really find joy in the monotony of everyday life.
Monotony in driving 15 minutes to work. 
Every day.
The answer, I believe, is a strong and definite yes.

Although, I will readily admit that it is a very difficult thing.
One must take the focus off of self.
Off of the physical attractions.
Onto the True One.

I'll also be the first to admit that I'm not even close.
I've become so distracted by the world and its pleasures.
I've tried, and failed, to find joy in people.
Joy in objects.
What I was truly coming up with was artificial, temporary happiness.
 It didn't last.

By the end of the day I still felt a pull that there had to be something more to life.
That was my attempt to avoid truly dealing with the monotony of life.
I figured I had to come up with something.
I had to.

By the grace of God alone, He is slowly
ever so slowly, showing me that I have been wrong.

I've been trying to grow and be big and strong on candy.
Something that gives a buzz and makes me feel content
yet wears off and leaves me even more hungry than before.
I needed meat.
Potatoes.
But, the sugar tasted so good
It was easy to obtain.
It went down easy.
The downfall?
Once the initial rush went away it left me craving for more.
Stronger than before.

Isn't life like that?
One big rush after another.
Always needing an event bigger than the last one
Until what?
How big is enough to satisfy?

What I needed?
Meat and Potatoes.
Something I had to look for, in the right place.
I had to go to the Word.
I had to study.
I had to pray.
I had to prune my heart.
I had to give up things that I was holding on to.
I had to realize that God was what I needed.

He is the One that can help me in my monotonous state.
The only One.

I had to be humbled.
I had to realize that I couldn't do it on my own.
That everyday things had to be done.
That God had placed these things in my life.
God had put me through them.
 That I had to rejoice and be glad in them.

 "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
(Psalm 118:24)

That I COULD rejoice and be glad in them.
As the apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:

 "for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content."

I had to cry out as David did in Psalm 51 and 139:
"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me."

"Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!"

He promised to be near in 145:
"The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
He also hears their cry and saves them."

Once I realized these truths
life became slightly easier.

But, it's not something that I pray once
and I'm happy ever after.
It's a continuous
every minute
of every day kind of thing.

I have to repeat Psalm 118 in the morning.
I have to pray Psalm 51 and 139 throughout the day.

I have to give thanks in ALL things:

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. "
 (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

I have to do ALL to the glory of God:

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
(1 Corinthians 10:31)

I also have to work hard in everything I do:

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might"
 (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

Without complaining:

"Do all things without grumbling or questioning"
(Philippians 2:14)
  
Sounds impossible, right?
Right.

"With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”   
(Mark 10:27)

But what does Paul say in the end of Philippians?

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

It's stated once again:
 THROUGH HIM.
Not me.
So, finally.
 Some of the things I need to remember to do:
 "Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances."
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) 
and again...
"Serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."
(Romans 12:11-12)
Knowing that:
"He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ"  
 (Philippians 1:6)
 God will fill:

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." 
 It's summed up wonderfully in Jude:


"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen."

So.
Monotony?
It's not a bad thing.
Sometimes one has to do things more than once
before it makes sense. 

Also,
God takes care of the world every day.
He has for the last 6,000 years.
And all of eternity past
and eternity future.
He doesn't get tired or sick of it.
Aren't you thankful?
Am I.

4 comments:

Ana said...

Well done, Leah! Praying for you!

Fred & Leon said...

Wow... Just what I needed to hear today! It really spoke to my heart. Thanks for that. :)

-Em

Kristina said...

I found this post through "Rosie's Ramblings."

Thank you so much for taking the time to write these words. This is exactly what I have been struggling with and been convicted of during the past several months. It feels like I am always looking for the new "high."

I am learning that this desire and longing within us cannot truly be filled by anything or anyone but Jesus Christ. Everything else is just a cheap substitute.

Blessed Contentment said...

I came over from Rosie's blog. Just the right words for jus the right time. You blessed me today. Thank you.