• Nathan Schneider
Lawn mower cutting grass

This week, I’m taking a much-needed retreat with my family to Homer for some camping with friends, so my blog post this week is short, quick, and to the point.

If you were to drive by my house, it’s pretty much 95% guaranteed that my lawn would be in immediate need of mowing. I try as best I can to stay on top of it. But life happens. Weather happens. Grilling happens. Pretty much anything that can count as an excuse happens that prevents me from getting to mowing my lawn.

Now, on the one hand, I have to give myself and everyone else who’s in my same boat a break by remembering that it’s just a lawn. It’s not a big deal.

On the other hand, I also have to dig in a little bit into my own soul and ask myself why I don’t like to mow my lawn. Is it because it takes work and I don’t like to work hard? If that was the case, then you wouldn’t find me at the top of a ridge line with my kids. Believe me, hiking a mountain is a lot harder than mowing a lawn.

Is it because it takes so much time? Once again, it took me three hours to hike last week. It took me twelve hours to smoke a pork butt. It’s not time that’s the issue.

When it’s all said and done, the only thing I come to is perhaps the simplest explanation of all…it’s mundane. It’s boring. It’s not what I want to pour my work and time into. Just the opposite, mowing the lawn always seems to be one of those tasks that keeps me from doing the things I want to do.

Ah, now I’m starting to get in my own kitchen…never good.

Why am I writing about this for a Wednesday blog? Well, because I was staring at my lawn the other day, knowing I needed to mow it and trying to talk myself into it when I was reminded of an article a read a number of years ago written by a pastor and professor I knew while in seminary. He had by happenstance met Dr. Albert Mohler while causally strolling around in a knick-knack shop and decided to ask him this question: “I teach a Bible study of college students. If you had one lesson for the men of this generation, what would it be?”

Mohler’s answer surprised him, and will probably surprise you, too. This was Mohler’s reply: “Teach the young men the art of shaving. You have to start young, or it will be too late.”

Does that surprise you? It did me, and it did him, too. But the reality is that Mohler was hitting on a point that was not just about shaving. On the surface, it was, but underneath it was addressing a very common reality that each one of us faces when we come face-to-face with the seemingly mundane. Here’s what my pastor-friend wrote as he pondered Mohler’s suggestion:

First, God made the world in such a way that even the most menial and common tasks can be done in a way that brings him glory. In his providence, God designed men in such a way that they need to shave every day (give or take). Many men simply assume the task should be done begrudgingly, and give up on finding a pleasurable way to do it. They exchange the truth for a lie, and plug in their razor, or—worse yet!—they use gel from a pressurized can. They live life oblivious to the fact that God has made a better way. That better way is to delight in the mundane by doing it well. Magnify God in the ordinary by seizing every shave as you would every thought, and take it captive for the glory of God.

Now, I hope you can sense the tongue-in-cheek tone of that passage. As you all know, I’m a fan of the “bearded look” from time to time, and no razor touches my face, sometimes for months at a time. That’s really not his point. The real point is, if you’re going to shave, find a way to enjoy it. Take the mundane out of it and find a way to rejoice in it and glorify God in the process.

That’s where the lesson intersects with us. If you’re reading this, I’m not going to assume you are in need of finding more joy in shaving. I’m not going to assume you need, like me, to find a way to rejoice and find enjoyment in mowing your lawn. But there’s things you do everyday that fall into the category of ‘the mundane.’ Each of us has our own list of these tasks, but what ties us all together is the transcendent principle of God’s Word:

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

“And whatever you do, in word of deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

Each of these passages have their own contexts which shed light on Paul’s focus in them. But the underlying principle with both of them is that every decision we make and every action we perform has to be filtered through the funnel of God’s glory…even the mundane, everyday chores of life.

God has given us the mundane things in life. Perhaps if we can find a way to actually enjoy the mundane, we’ve taken one step forward in our call as believers to glorify God and enjoy him forever…even in the mundane.