“I’m not an early bird or a night owl. I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.”
Most of our lives are not very dramatic. There may be high points we look forward to, and they tend to fly by pretty quickly. And there are sure to be some low periods, which are very hard to get through and seem to last forever. But if we step back and review a few days or a few weeks, we’ll have to admit that most of our waking hours are sort of average, a bit monotonous and not worth journaling about. Ho hum.
But wait! These long stretches in your daily living are the meat and potatoes of your life. When you’re feeling like a “permanently exhausted pigeon,” you’re actually fulfilling the destiny God intends for you.
The Apostle Paul learned this the hard way. He wrote about a downer in his life, which he called his “thorn in the flesh.” We don’t know what it was, but it was always on his mind, giving him the feeling that he could never be at his best in serving God. He wrote: “Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). He felt inadequate in other areas of his life as well, and there, too, God had to teach him some lessons: “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11).
From his own experience, he gives advice to us: “Be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). Our “walk” is the journey through the ho-hum parts of our lives. These hours that don’t seem to have much significance may actually be studded with eternity, so Paul advises us to “make the most of our time”; not just on the high mountain peaks when we celebrate spontaneously, but also in the long, monotonous, dry valleys that seem meaningless, and even in the dark pits we sometimes fall into.
Here’s one exercise Paul suggests: “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18). If you discover something to be thankful for in the most unspectacular, boring moment of your day, you will find your whole day lighting up. Don’t just accept the “permanently exhausted pigeon” times; embrace them and live them to the fullest, with thanksgiving.
Because, life is so daily.
— Pastor George Van Alstine