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This article is from Issue 59: Sep/Oct 2012

Kingdom Living From the Middle of Normal

How to make life meaningful in the midst of the mundane.

Ty lives—intentionally chooses to live—in a low-income part of his city and works in full-time urban ministry. Kaitlyn engineers clean-water wells in Africa. Jerome runs an organic, sustainable farm in the country. Amanda works undercover in Cambodia to expose human trafficking.

These four are committed to justice. To mercy. To the adventure of following God’s call, wherever that may lead.

But then there’s the rest of us.

Most Christians spend their days in cubicles, clocking 9-to-5 hours in less-than-inspiring jobs. Their days are consumed with classes, with studying, with worries about finding employment after college—and the occasional bit of sleep.

What about those Christians living typical lives in American suburbia who care deeply about living intentionally, too? They’re inspired by the far-flung adventures of people like Ty, Kaitlyn, Jerome and Amanda. But the fact is, their realities are pretty ... well, normal.

There are plenty of Christians who have followed God, and His call seems to have landed them smack-dab in the middle of “average” and “unexciting.”

What can it mean to live with intention inside that seemingly mundane calling—to embody the radical values of Jesus’ Kingdom in the context of everyday life, whether that be on campus, in suburbia or within the doldrums of an office cubicle? Is it possible to reject the alluring apathy of normal life and embrace a spiritually driven intentionality that redefines it?

Just Choices, Right Where We Are

Let’s start with how impact happens.

“Sometimes we think injustice cannot be fought unless we scream from the rooftops, make a YouTube video, print a thousand T-shirts, trend on Twitter or become synonymous with a certain project,” says Erina K. Ludwig, author of Unnoticed Neighbors: A Pilgrimage Into the Social Justice Story. “But I really think it’s the small, slow-burning actions that can make a difference.”

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