Control+Alt+Delete and God Loveth Adverbs

I sit down at my desk and my fingers automatically reach for the keyboard. I know the keys by heart. In less than a second a screen comes to life. Control+Alt+Delete has done it again. Those three keys have started my day.

It’s my first task and today it gets me. Today I feel I will suffocate in the mundane.The dishes that pile up; clean, full of food, empty, dirty. The laundry that was just done the other day; now dirty and beginning to smell. The emails that seem so trivial; check on this,analyze that, don’t forget the other. The mundane crowds my world.

And I who long to do the sacred, to reflect the heavenly, feel madness in the mundane. I feel grumpy and irreverent. On my short commute I called two people idiots (under my breath, but idiots all the same). I gave someone the Boston stink eye“She gave it to me first!” I silently rationalized. I chose a different way to walk to work, just because I saw a mundane someone I knew and didn’t want a mundane conversation; a “Hi how are you doesn’t Monday suck?” conversation.

The dictionary confirms that I am caught in the mundane. The “Relating to, characteristic of, or concerned with commonplaces; ordinary.” 

Can I have faith that the mundane matters? 

Faith that the mundane matters in this building made of concrete, steel and glass? Faith that control+alt+delete is more than turning on my computer; that the mere act is faithful? That getting up and showering, moving forward when I don’t want to can somehow be turned around, redeemed?

Truth is most of life is lived in the ordinary. I have heard that the Puritans had a saying “God Loveth Adverbs”. In a chapter title by the same name, Philip Yancey in his book Rumors, explores the meaning of this saying. He says it implies “that God cares more about the spirit in which we live than the concrete results”  He goes on to say:

“whether cleaning house or preaching sermons, shoeing horses or translating the Bible….any human activity may constitute an offering to God.”

It is a profound chapter and I’m reminded of it this morning. If God loveth adverbs, then surely control+alt+delete is not out of the bounds of his redemptive power. All these tasks are part of the whole.

Through control+alt+delete I am connected to a breast cancer survivor who is passionate about serving her community by bringing awareness of the disease and availability of early screening; through control+alt+delete I learn of a colleague who isn’t well; through control+alt+delete I am connected to the world both inside and beyond my building, a world that is loved so deeply by God.

And how much of this is God molding me daily to show His character even in the mundane? To learn that the person I just called an idiot is a man, made in the image of God; to understand more of what can come about through ordinary conversations with the woman I avoided.

Surely if God loveth the adverb than he loveth control+alt+delete. As the screen flickers, as if nodding an inanimate head in agreement, I sigh a silent prayer – that the God who delights in showing how the ordinary can connect to the extraordinary will delight in redeeming my Monday mundane. 

20 thoughts on “Control+Alt+Delete and God Loveth Adverbs

  1. This is a quote I came across recently and which I have been mulling over quite a bit. It seems to fit with your thoughts.
    “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would strongly be tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal…it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendor. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner – no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” C.S.Lewis “The Weight of Glory”

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  2. One of my favoritest: 1 Cor. 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Thanks for reminding me.

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  3. Being made in the image of God doesn’t prevent people from acting like idiots. I act like an idiot sometimes and I’m made in the image of God. And occasionally, not often, it’s helpful when someone points that out. Just a thought.

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    1. I have to say how much I love this thought. I am like you, I appreciate it when someone points out my idiocy……that being said, I receive it well usually when it’s done by someone who cares. Thank you for an unexpected thought!

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  4. The mundane is that spot between our past and our future. The Past and the Future breathe memory and expectation into our Present….but they also tempt us to live away from the Here and Now. They usurp the holy out of the mundane. God, the Forever Present I AM longs to redeem our Now. The Present moment is the Burning Bush but I am too often consumed with longings for yesterday and hopes for tomorrow. Being present in our today invites the sacred back.
    These are big thoughts for a Monday morning!

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    1. Have never ever thought of it this way – so interesting. The big thoughts got bigger after reading this comment. “The present moment is our burning bush but I am too consumed with longings….” wow. Humbling to think I may be missing the burning bush. Thank you Robynn.

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  5. Just the other day I asked my daughter if Monday came from Mundane or was it the other way around. I was helping her with some facebook advertising and wanted to use the term Mundane Monday.
    Every thing is a part of the whole, there is worship in the mundane, mundane is what holds the world together. Imagine a world in which every moment was extraordinary.. well actually every moment is extraordinary, it is just a matter of perspective. A person with a farm or a garden takes the plants growing around for granted, but someone who has seen a little blade of grass push itself through the dry Earth realises what a miracle it is.
    We are but threads, each one of us woven into place to make an entire pattern which we cannot see but makes a complete whole. We have to trust the designer,
    There may be times well there often are times when we rebel about our place in the pattern, those are the moments to trust to have faith that someone knows something way better than you do.
    Maybe you should give a smile next time to the Boston stink eye and a compliment to the Mundane conversationalist, would be interesting to see her expression on getting a smile instead of a stink eye and you could actually remove the mundaneness from the other person’s day. Give her something nice to think about for a change.

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    1. I love the picture of us as threads. And I really love your gentle suggestions – you’re totally right that I should try it. Truth is, I’m a bit scared. Easier to just move forward with the crowd. Such a sad truth. Thanks for these reminders Pari!

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      1. you so do not belong in the crowd Marilyn. An Indian poet once wrote main akela hi chala tha jaanib e manzil magar log aate gaye charavan banta gaya

        I was walking alone towards my goal but people started coming and the caravan grew.

        You are a leader not a follower, you know it so embrace what you are with confidence. Just with this blog you are opening so many paths of thoughts for so many people.

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      2. Oh this is part of a much bigger conversation that I want to have with you!! Love the saying and honored by the compliment – so much more to say but I’m sitting in the waiting room of a hospital:(

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  6. A young lady at church yesterday shared a song called “Better Than A Hallelujah”. One of the lines speaks to the fact that before God: “…beautiful the mess we are…” because He sees the end from the beginning. Your post today made me think of it – similar spirit.

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    1. Thank you Bruce – We’ve heard the illustration that life is like looking through a hole in a fence at a parade. You only see what’s in front of you while God sees the whole parade. Your comment made me think of the illustration. Good Monday to you!

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