A Prayer for When Exhilaration Gives Way to Routine


We live on the highs, don’t we, Lord? At least you may have noticed that we try. Of course, this isn’t realistic. But that never keeps us from striving.

We become accustomed to the thrill. Addicted to the high of achievement and feedback. We get used to accomplishment and growth. We craft our words and wait for hearers to smile when they hear them. We rehearse the song and listen for the applause. When the high note is hit, the reaction is noticeable. The peoples’ appreciation is palpable.

In sports, we like the long ball! Homeruns, golf drives, 3-point shots and Hail Mary touchdowns—we like to see our athletes go for it!

But then exhilaration gives way to the routine.

On Monday, the adoring congregation has mostly disappeared. On Tuesday, the staff lines up to evaluate and inquire. The miles on the car document the hours spent alone. A chair is pushed up to the desk, where consideration and paperwork await. Planning, dreaming, wondering, and worrying. They come with the work, and they exact a cost.

We should expect this. After all, we cannot fly at such heights every day. Not every moment can find one a winner. For every sermon that can be preached, ten meetings must be had. For every soul that is transformed, countless others will not be reached. There are those who will make the church the center of their lives. But you know better than we do that more will come and go, merely consuming religious goods and services.

Help us, Lord. For in every line of work, in every family and friendship, we will not live only in the highs. There must be a routine in order for there to be a special occasion. We need your help, Lord, to appreciate the ordinary.

Yes, give us soul and heart. Teach us to see the gift of the daily and to find the holy in the mundane. That is where we live, really. We live so much more on the level plain than in the heights. And Christ said that this must be, for there is honorable work to be done. There must be a reason why life is as mixed as it is. We should listen to you and find out.

We need to ask for the ability to trust. You know what is best, and you know what lies ahead.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:4-5, NIV)

The post originally appeared in A Hungry Soul Desperate to Taste God’s Grace: Honest Prayers for Life by Charles Qualls.

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