Sometimes our lives can be radically transformed by a monumental or traumatic event. Sometimes the death of a loved one wakes a person up to realities previously unconsidered. Sometimes a divorce causes a person to begin asking questions they weren’t before. Sometimes a positive life experience like marriage or becoming a parent radically shifts the trajectory of one’s life.
However, it’s been my observation that it’s not the monumental or traumatic events that influence us most. Rather, our daily decisions and reactions over a long period of time possess far more power to shape our lives. This is why the ordinary matters.
The decision to use that 10 minute gap in your day to pray or read Scripture instead of surf social media over a long period of time will prove to be deeply formative. The repeated reactions over the course of a year not to flip out over the unexpected hurdles you encounter impact the condition of your soul. The ordinary, more than the extraordinary, shapes your life.
This is illustrated in countless ways throughout God’s creation. Think of a jagged pebble placed in a gently flowing stream. What will that pebble look like in a week? Probably the same. However, what will that pebble look like in 10 years? It will probably be smooth; the sharp edges worn away by the persistent, but ordinary movements of water. Our lives are shaped much the same way.
So pay attention to the ordinary. Our daily decisions and reactions over a long period of time are powerfully influential.