A dreary life is a lot like a thick book with page after page of humdrum, dull, and boring writing. Yuck. Who wants a life like that?
Unfortunately, there seems to be an increase in mundane days as you grow older. You try to adjust your expectations of what constitutes joy and fulfillment, but it isn’t easy.
It reminds me of my experience working for a book review company. I read and critiqued books for authors who needed a professional review for their promotional materials.
Sounds great if, like me, you love to read.
In reality … not so much.
The review guidelines stated that I had to read the whole book. Every word. No skimming through pages.
I also had to include positive and constructive comments in my review. AND my remarks had to be supported by examples drawn from the book.
Now, I love to encourage people, so I usually enjoyed finding something positive to say about an author’s writing.
But not always
In any well-written book, it’s the struggles and wins highlighted, cutting out the routine, uninteresting parts of life.
I mean, who wants to read, “I went to the grocery store and bought 3 oranges and 10 packages of TP. Then I stopped by my mother’s house, and of course, she wanted to go with me to McDonald’s for a quick lunch before running by the pharmacy, which had just reopened, to pick up my 15 bottles of meds at the pharmacy.”
Page after page of wordy writing = boring.
I honestly dreaded getting a thick book in the mail to review. “Thick” meant hours of tedious reading while searching for some nugget to highlight.
Even the Bible leaves out the dreary parts
I’ve highlighted many pages in my Bible because it’s full of struggles and wins.
The everyday activities aren’t mentioned … except when used as quick transitions between one event to another.
- And Jesus left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan (Mark 10:1, ESV).
- Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples (John 11:54, ESV).
Here’s the kicker
When it comes to the Bible, those are the days I also want to know about—those uninteresting, ordinary times of a dreary life when wins or struggles aren’t highlighted.
Because unhighlighted is what my life mostly holds, especially as it looks like I’ll be celebrating my 70th birthday during a COVID lockdown.
What was it like during uneventful times within the friend group of disciples Jesus did life with?
- I imagine there were discussions of where to stop to spend the night on their journeys and laughter and talk of the latest news heard from those they met along the way.
- Dealing with annoying personality quarks within the friend group was an ongoing challenge for any of the disciples.
- And how did Jesus and the guys deal with family who needed them at home?
- Did each have a favorite food, and did Jesus ever help with the laundry?
I find it fascinating to read through the gospels looking for the non-eventful moments that Jesus spent with people.
Because a dreary life is priceless
It’s the everyday moments between the “here and the there,” the wins and the struggles, where Jesus wants to live life with us.
Isn’t that what family and friends do when they hang out … live life together?
If you’re feeling unproductive, dull, or same-o, same-o ordinary, use it as a time to spend with Jesus.
No one else may want to run your errands with you, fold laundry, or pay the bills, but Jesus does.
Your monotonous day isn’t dreary to Him. He loves your boring life.
Jesus is with you in the big moments of your life, in the dreadful moments, and in the uneventful, ordinary, everyday moments of your dreary life.
Your challenge this month…
- Choose to view your unhighlighted days as holding refined joy ignited from your struggles and your wins.
- Hang out with Jesus when life is uninteresting. You don’t even have to DO anything if you don’t want to.
After all, one of the best things about having a best friend is wasting time together.
You’ve got this, girl.
Aging with style and grace is a simple tweak of your perspective and time spent with Jesus.