Recall this scenario. You’re at the tail end of your final year of college. You’re ripping your hair out as you eagerly finish your final papers and cram information into your brain in preparation for the last of your final exams of your undergraduate degree. You’re almost there and you can almost smell and feel the magnificent glory of finally walking across the stage at graduation. You can’t wait to be done with school, having dedicating almost two whole decades of your life so you can get to this moment right now. You can’t wait to start your full time job working in the field that you’ve dedicated your early adulthood studying. But then what? What happens when all of the excitement dies down and your life plateaus?
It’s been a little over a year since I received that one-way ticket to adulthood, which is what many call a bachelor’s degree. The scenario I described above is one that I’m all too familiar with, as I went through that anticipation for two years, waiting for my turn to walk across the stage and finally receive my degree. With all of the ramping up prior to my graduation, my momentum reached a screeching halt, and my climax became an underwhelming plateau. But being that I went through a considerable amount of beyond-stressful situations leading up to my commencement, I didn’t mind the sudden mundane life. I went from working two jobs to just one. I no longer had the looming cloud of academic probation hovering above me. Exams, homework, and egotistical professors and classmates were now in my rearview mirror. My social obligations became a thing of the past as I left any club and ministry responsibilities behind. I suddenly went from doing everything to doing nothing, and it was GLORIOUS.
But just as my academic and social lives were slowing down, my steadfastness towards the Lord was also beginning to lose the steam it once had. You see, as I hot lava’d my way through obstacle after obstacle, the main factor of maintaining any level of sanity was my faith and my sprint towards the Lord. I prayed through the nightly panic attacks. I held onto the Word of God when the people around me became insufferable. I had a solid group of friends to keep me accountable. I was constantly being poured into during weekly discipleships, Bible studies, and large group meetings. I had no room to stray away from the Lord because I was neck-deep, wading through the ocean of campus ministry. But as soon as my status of “student” became “alumnus,” the ocean I was wading through disappeared, and I found myself in the middle of a drought – but I didn’t notice that right away.
Every time I came home from work, and my roommates from school, they would have stories upon stories to tell about their day, what they did, and what they were currently processing through. Any questions about how my own day at work went were all met with a haphazard shrug and a “fine, I guess.” My days became so monotonous, since all I did was go to work for 8 hours a day before retiring to a bowl of pasta and a trip down a Hulu rabbit hole. To add a little more excitement to my life, I salt-and-peppered trips to the gym and the occasional coffee date with a handful of friends just to say that I did something different that day. Finally, after the umpteenth anticlimactic recount of my day at work, one of my roommates (and also King of Accountability) asked me where I find the Lord in the mundane.
Do you hear that? That’s the sound of my mind exploding, and my heart breaking at the idea that I had made a stark about-face from the Lord without even realizing it.
After months and months of praying at God about all of the things that were ailing my life, I never once thought about the possibility that maybe He needed me to hear a few things also. I began making the conscious effort to lean into Him more, this time lending Him my ear instead of His mine. He began making it clearer to me just how much time I was wasting “unwinding” from work, time I could be using to spend with Him. Actually making the conscious effort to sit down and read my Bible was a discipline that I wasn’t too familiar with, but one I knew I had to learn. I soon found that having quiet time to spend with Jesus after work was exponentially more restful than going down YouTube and Netflix holes. I began to find pockets of my life where I could clearly see the Lord working, and I leaned into those moments as much as I could. I rediscovered what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus, only this time, it was on my own terms and not as a consequence of being involved in campus ministry.
I was on the dangerous path toward complacency. I let myself get too comfortable in my post-grad life, and that was beginning to translate into my faith walk. From a secular perspective, I can see how people would think that I have it together – I have my degree, I’m working full time, putting a roof over my head and feeding myself. I found a career path that I’m tenacious enough to run after, and taking the right steps towards a happy and successful future. But if all of that were to disappear tomorrow, what would I have left? God’s grace is overwhelmingly evident in the fact that I was able to find my purpose in Him and not in my job, my degree, or my ability to feed myself. My relationship with the Lord provides an entirely new dimension to living life. That is what I learned in the midst of the mundane.
I’m not here to say that I’ve gotten this Christian walk all figured out. The Christian walk is a work in progress and something that we need to learn everyday. Being able to find Christ in the mundane adult life is just one more step on my faith journey. My advice that I have for anyone transitioning from chaos to mind-numbing order is to really lean into the heart of Jesus. While things may be becoming more comfortable now, don’t let that turn into complacency. In the mundane of an orderly life, listen to what the Lord may be trying to tell you and run fast toward Him.