February 24

Many came to him and began to say, “John performed no miraculous sign, but everything John said about this man was true!” John 10:41

You may be very discontented with yourself. You are no genius, have no brilliant gifts, and are inconspicuous for any special faculty. Mediocrity is the law of your existence. Your days are remarkable for nothing but sameness and insipidity. Yet you may live a great life. John did no miracle, but Jesus said that among those born of women there had not appeared a greater than he.

John’s main business was to bear witness to the Light, and this may be yours and mine. John was content to be only a voice, if men would think of Christ.

Be willing to be only a voice, heard but not seen; a mirror whose surface is lost to view, because it reflects the dazzling glory of the sun; a breeze that springs up just before daylight, and says, “The dawn! the dawn!” and then dies away. Do the commonest and smallest things as beneath His eye. . . . We are doing more good than we know, sowing seeds, starting streamlets, giving men true thoughts of Christ, to which they will refer one day as the first things that started them thinking of Him. (Streams in the Desert)

I am praying differently these days, not so much to know God’s will any longer but, instead, simply to recognize him in the commonplace. This moment perches precariously on a knife-edge, animation suspended between memory and mystery. Lean too far behind and tumble into remorse, regret, reprise, repeat. Stretch too intensely toward tomorrow and drift into fog, fantasy, make-believe. Either behind or ahead is dysfunction. To live this breath in healthy tension with present attention, that is the divine mandate—nothing less than relentless intersection, perpetual incarnation. Created in the image of “I am”, “we are” abiding best in our Heavenly Father when we extol his grace that benefits this breath and embrace the exhilaration of not living in the wake of what we once were. Every day matters; our daily challenge is to recognize what matters most. To be completely honest, that has changed for me over the years. I’ve often wrestled with the inclination to lose sight of the value of this instant while straining to predict the next and strategize accordingly, but I am learning that what happened or did not occur yesterday pales in significance with what I do right now; life does count, and this very moment matters enormously. Mercy is at hand in abundance when I allow myself to detect the weight of glory in the mundane and ordinary. Grace is now and grace is here; grace is always present tense. (From the Introduction to Ordinary Glory by Dane Fowlkes)

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