Bob Tamasy: Transforming The Mundane Into The Marvelous

  • Monday, November 28, 2022
  • Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Several years ago, a high-ranking military officer gave a college commencement address and offered a bit of advice: “First thing you do in the morning, make your bed.”

With all the admonitions he could have made, this commanding officer chose “make your bed”? He explained his reasoning: In making your bed, simple as that seems, you’ve achieved something positive to start your day. No matter what transpires afterward, you can feel good about having done at least one thing worthwhile.

Have you ever thought about all the repetitive tasks we perform each day? Besides making the bed (if that’s your practice), we get cleaned up and dressed for the day, eat breakfast, travel to work (unless you work from home, as I do), go through the workday, return home, have the evening meal, relax a bit, and then go to bed – so we can start the cycle over again tomorrow.

This doesn’t even include periodic chores like mopping the floors, vacuuming the carpet, doing the dishes, washing and drying clothes, taking out the trash, mowing the yard, and so on. As someone has said, the problem with everyday living is it’s so…daily.

We have highlights to keep us motivated – significant, hard-earned achievements along with pleasant surprises. But in essence, life amounts to moments of magnificence surrounded by masses of mundane stuff. However, with a slight attitude adjustment, we can transform the mundane into the marvelous.

How? It starts with recognizing why we do what we do, even seemingly inconsequential things. Because in the Scriptures, Christ’s followers are admonished, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him…. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:17,23-24).

Looking at the world around us, it’s clear that God doesn’t do shabby work. His creation is filled with wonders. As His children – and faithful servants – we should always strive to reflect His character and excellence in what we do and the way we do it. Even repetitious chores probably no one will notice.

But what if you knew a special guest were coming to your home – the Lord Almighty? Do you think you’d make an extra effort to spiff things up? Or if the nameplate on the desk in your boss’s office read, Jehovah God. Do you think that might affect your approach to your work, even the little things?

One time Jesus was speaking to His followers about the proper use of their material possessions; He also implied stewardship of whatever the Lord has entrusted to us: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10).

Sometimes the way we handle the ordinary and the mundane is a test to determine how well we would handle greater responsibilities and more exciting challenges. On another occasion, as recounted in Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus told of a man who instructed his servants to manage his property while he was away on a journey. He gave five talents of money to one servant, two talents to another, and one talent to the third – “each according to his ability.”

The one receiving the five talents shrewdly put the money to work, earning an additional five. The servant given two talents did much the same, gaining two more. However, the servant entrusted with only one talent buried it. He didn’t even put it in the bank to earn a bit of interest. His reasoning? He perceived his master as “a hard man…. I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”

To the servants who used the money put in their trust to generate more, the master said, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” However, for the servant who did nothing with the money given other than hide it, there was no such praise. Instead, he heard, “You wicked, lazy servant!” His talent was given to the one who had managed to double his money from five to ten.

Jesus used this parable to explain the importance of faithful, reliable stewardship of whatever God puts into our care – money, opportunities, skills, even our time. He concluded by saying, “For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

Maybe making the bed seems like a very small thing. Why would that matter to God? But think again about what Jesus said: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” If we would like the Lord to trust us with big, important things to do, a good place to start would be to demonstrate we can be trusted with little, “unimportant” things.

* * *

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is btamasy@comcast.net.

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