How to Find Purpose in the Mundane
What’s the point? you wonder as you put away yet another toy, as you wash another dish, as you get in the car for another commute. What’s the point of yet another mundane, humdrum day?
As Christians, we hear that our lives should be brimming with purpose and direction. That God has a plan to use us for His work here in the world. And then days and weeks go by with… nothing. Or at least what looks and feels like nothing. Doing laundry, washing dishes, picking up after toddlers, going in to the same job day after day. There hardly seems to be any life-defining, Kingdom-impacting work in that.
But God doesn’t leave us in a rut, forgetting we exist. He has infused our days with purpose, if we would just have eyes to see it.
Mathew 10:30-31 says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
We know God hasn’t forgotten us. So where is our purpose?
Well, Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Before we were even born, God knew how He was going to design us and what life situations He was going to put us in. Then the Bible says He already put good works in place for us to do! It is impossible that there is no purposeful way for us to serve God where you are because God Himself filled your days with purpose before time began!
But if God hasn’t forgotten us and if God has given us a purpose to walk in, even in this season, why does that purpose seem so hard to find? Why does it feel like we are doing nothing more than drifting?
Well, it’s because we aren’t hearing our loving Heavenly Father.
I stop and think about my attitude in the never-ending routine, and I realize I’m not really looking for the purpose God has for me. I’m complaining that it isn’t there right in front of my face, but I’m not taking the time to pray and seek God’s heart for my days. Maybe there is someone to whom I can be the hands and feet of Jesus, loving them through service. Maybe I should be working harder to start spiritual conversations with those around me. Maybe there is something that needs to be done — a ministry, for example — and I am so caught up in complaining that I don’t notice.
I love the prayer in Psalm 90:12 — “Teach us to number our days, that we might gain a heart of wisdom.”
Teach me to number the days I have with my coworkers to reach them with Your love. Teach me to number the days that I have with my children to impart wisdom to them. Teach me to number the days I have with my friends and family to love them and serve them, even in the most mundane ways. Teach me to number the days I have to serve God here on Earth before I stand before Him in Heaven.
If we live with an attitude of counting our days, I am sure we will be amazed by the significance of the little things that we used to be willing to just blow past.
And if not, there is a purpose greater than any service, any ministry, or any kindness that we could do. Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all,” and many of us have heard 1 Corinthians 10:31, which says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God…”
Our whole purpose in existing is to bring glory to our King. In that endeavor, it doesn’t much matter what you are doing, so long as you are doing it with an attitude of servanthood before a great, powerful God. If you are washing dishes, do it joyfully, “as to the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). If you are folding laundry, teaching children, driving to work, typing invoices… Whatever you do, do it with all your heart for the glory of God. Work constantly to align your heart with His and to make Him the center of your life.
That is a purpose worth working for, and it can be found in any moment, in any place on the planet. And there is definitely nothing mundane about it.
Meredith is the wife of an amazing husband, a lover of travel and baking, and a servant of the King of Kings. She writes at Life Along the Way, a project created with her husband as a place to share the ups and downs of their lives following Christ and to explore what it means to live life based on the Bible. Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram!
This is such sweet encouragement for me today. I do want to pray that God would give me his heart and his vision for my days, my activities.
Thank you for this. I am constantly wondering ‘what my purpose is’ daily. Thank you for showing me to open my eyes and SEE what my purposes are. Blessings to you! :-)
I came across your post while browsing Pinterest and I absolutely love it! For much of January and February, I was asking God what my calling was and was extremely frustrated and annoyed when he didn’t seem to be telling me. Eventually, I realized my calling is to make a difference wherever I go. I need to be thankful for this and I need to be willing in this. I love how you said “teach us to number our days.” It’s easy to forget how quickly the years pass by and be less than grateful for them. I will remember that one simple phrase-“teach us to number our days.”