Trinity Lutheran Church
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Scripture Reading: Exodus 32:1-14
THOUGHT: Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life. —Unknown
I was born in Canada and it wasn’t until I was 10 years old that our family moved to the United States. We lived on the plains of Saskatchewan where the wheat grows fine in the summer, and the winters are harsh. We didn’t have school buses in those days. We walked a mile or two and in the winter, the snow crunched beneath our shoes.
But our stomachs were full before we started off for school. Do you know why? Because Mom gave us oatmeal for breakfast. As a special treat, we sometimes would be allowed to sweeten the oatmeal with brown sugar. But every morning it was the same. Oatmeal. Those oats would go down and lodge in our tummies and turn into a little ball and made us feel warm, satisfied and happy.
Robert A. Johnson has written about this, especially that part about “stirring the oatmeal.” He says, “Many years ago a wise friend gave me a name for human love. She called it “stirring-the-oatmeal” love. She was right. Within this phrase, if we will humble ourselves enough to look, is the very essence of human love. He went on to say that stirring the oatmeal —something my mother did every morning —is a mundane and humble act. It’s not exciting or thrilling. But somehow, in the act of stirring the oatmeal, love comes down and is mediated to its recipients. It is a simple act that symbolizes ordinary life.
There are many such things in life that go easily unnoticed: going to work, hemming a dress, taking out the trash, doing the dishes, making our bed and so on. When we are faithful in these mundane and humble things, somehow we connect with life, with others and with God. These little routine things connect us with God because they help us find the sacred in the humdrum, the divine in one’s duty; and the blessing in boredom.
Let’s be grateful for the little chores of everyday living. God is present with us when we do them. —Timothy Merrill
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for giving me things to do that occupy my times. These things are not always exciting, but often they’re necessary. I am happy to serve. In Jesus’ name. Amen.