Thur., Jan. 20/22
Yesterday I wrote about Enoch and Elijah as ordinary men. Ordinary people with ordinary days peppered with a number of extraordinary episodes. We tend to define such persons by their extraordinary moments, but the real measure of a person is in what sort person that person is during the humdrum.
Oswald Chambers writes,
“The true test of a person’s spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening. A person’s worth is revealed in his attitude toward the ordinary things of life when he is not under the spotlight.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Oct. 12 entry.
It is during the ordinary, the off-stage buzz of a man’s life, when the applause has died, the theatre has emptied, and he is at home in his slippers, that his guard is down and we see the true character.
C.S. Lewis adds to this subject,
“Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth?” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p.164.
And it is this man… this woman… whom Christ sees and knows at all times. “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7).
Extraordinary episodes do not impress the Almighty! They impress people, and people often wrongly praise the performer. We must not be duped by this. We must be honest before our Maker. “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Cor. 10:12).
As the Almighty is not so much interested in what we do as He is in what we are – and are becoming. The ordinary moments of our ordinary lives are very important. It is in these that one’s character is made. As Jesus taught, “The one who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much; and the one who is unrighteous in a very little thing is also unrighteous in much.” (Luke 16:10, NASB).
Faithfulness… this is in fact the true greatness of the man we considered yesterday: “Enoch walked faithfully with God…” (Gen. 5:24). “…he was commended as one who pleased God.” (Heb. 11:5-6).
Value your humdrum moments and days. Don’t look to others, look to Christ. As Paul writes, “Live as children of light… find out what pleases the Lord…. making the most of every opportunity…” (Eph. 5:8,9,16). In the Lord’s eyes you can be as Enoch!