I’d like to tell you a story. Last Tuesday, I began my day by working out and spending time with God before waking my middle son, Elias, up for school. After breakfast, I drove him to the front of his school where I dropped him off. Then, I went to my office at church, where I met with three young men that I disciple in the faith. Next, I participated in a staff meeting and staff lunch with the greatest church staff ever assembled. We planned and prayed, made fun of each other and lightheartedly argued, before skyping with one of our missionaries in Peru. I came home late in the afternoon and spent a wonderful evening with my beautiful wife and children. We ate dinner together, read the Bible together, and prayed together. I wrestled with my boys and snuggled with my wife and daughters. My wife and I gave the kids their medicine and tucked them into bed, before spending some time together—just the two of us. We ended the evening by watching one of our favorite shows, and then we fell asleep only to arise the next morning to do it all over again.
That story probably seems boring to you. Nothing special. Just a typical day. But let me add some important details. Elias is our son that we adopted from Uganda. He was a two-year-old boy without a name, a birthdate, or a family, when people from the orphanage found him alone and abandoned at a hotel. He had markings from a witch doctor on his skin. When we brought him home he was on high doses of medication to stop seizures he was having every day. There was a time when we wondered if he would ever learn basic skills like talking and getting himself dressed. We’ve watched him mature into a typical little six-year-old boy who talks our ears off and gets himself dressed every morning. He now has a name, a birthdate, and a family. He now has a story. He’s a McCall.
The three men I disciple were at one time dead in their trespasses and sins. They were enslaved to sin and children of wrath. I used to be like that as well. We were all without a name, without a birthdate, without a family. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph. 2:4-5). We now have a name—sons of God in Christ. We now have spiritual birthdates. We are now members of the family of God that fellowships locally in Lexington, Kentucky. In God’s wise providence he brought our diverse stories together. Our lives are intertwined by his design. There are no accidents in this story.
That church staff I mentioned comes from at least seven different states. We are radically different from one another. If college football fandom is a good indicator of diversity, we have it all: Auburn Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide, Tennessee Vols, Ohio State Buckeyes, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Georgia Bulldogs, and Kentucky Wildcats. We have outdoorsmen and baseball fanatics, woodworkers and bookworms. Our interests and backgrounds are diverse, but our passion is the same: We desire to spread a passion for the supremacy of Christ in all things for the joy of all peoples. How did that happen? How did so many different personalities end up on the same team at this particular time and place in history? Miracle. God is writing this story.
That missionary to Peru? He was a college senior two years ago with the whole world in front of him. He could have begun his career and pursued marriage. Instead, he chose to take the gospel to an unreached people group in an obscure village 10,000 feet up in the Andes Mountains. He graduated from college and immediately stepped on a plane to commit the next two years of his life to serving the crucified and resurrected King of the universe. What makes a man die to his ambitions and sacrifice so much? “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:14-15). He realizes that he’s not the author of his story.
My family is another miracle. I can remember the birth of each one of my three biological children: Josiah Garrett, Lillian Joy, and Samuel Judson. I remember vividly the first time my wife and I saw pictures of the two children who would eventually become our son and daughter, Elias Owen McCall and Eden Hope McCall. Two stories from another continent and another ethnicity are now forever joined to five stories from Lexington, Kentucky. Our seven stories have merged into one. Those three rowdy wrestlers and three sweet snugglers are part of an unfolding drama that the Author of life is writing as we speak. We live in his prose. Our destiny is in his omnipotent hands. We rejoice in that.
My wife was eighteen when she married me. She had just graduated from high school and I was twenty-four and in seminary. When we first met she was fifteen and I was twenty-one. I had no idea at that point in time that she would eventually become my wife. Her mother did. The first time her mother saw me, she told my father-in-law that I was going to one day be their son-in-law. I’m thrilled that her prophecy came true. There’s no one else I could imagine sharing this journey with. My wife perfectly complements me. I love her more and more every day. The Author is good at his craft.
This story I’m sharing is nothing special. It’s just an ordinary day in an ordinary life. But I hope you can see that there is far more going on beneath the surface of things. Majesty is all around us, all the time. It takes a little bit of effort—a little bit of faith-filled imagination—but the glory is always there, hidden beneath the exterior of an ordinary life. Sometimes we don’t recognize it because we’re too busy checking our watches, waiting for the weekend, and saving our vacation days. Sometimes Martha wins the day when Mary is needed (Luke 10:38-42). But each new ordinary day, majesty is there for the taking. Every day the Creator invites us to taste his glory. Every day we are handed a script and told to act our part in a divine drama that encompasses all of human history—a story that features the mundane just as much as the spectacular. We’re not the star of this story—that part was given to Jesus. But we are privileged to get to play supporting roles. Will you spend your life looking forward to the next big thing or will you choose to embrace the majesty of the mundane?