Alfred Hitchcock famously said movies were life with all the boring parts cut out of them. I have to agree. I will not watch a three-minute breakfast scene filled with quiet coffee sips. Nor do I care to gaze upon an actor spending two-minutes on teeth-brushing diligence. Unless it is a well-underscored montage, I do not want to engage in prolonged real-life management masked as entertainment.
I want to see the underdog win. I want to feel the emotions of the first kiss or the new baby. I tear up when the goal is accomplished, the dream comes true, and the guy gets the girl. Laundry does not create quite the same zing in my heart’s strings. I can promise you right now, I will not put down my attention-nanny (aka: my phone) to watch even the most handsome fellow iron. If that made my skirt fly up, I could just watch Tripp...don’t even have to plug him in or power him up. Uhm, I think I digressed a little at the end.
The point I was attempting to make was that few of us love the day-to-day drudge of life. We love a good mountain top moment. When I text my friends, “catch me up on you!” or, “tell me all the things,” you know what I get most often? “I’ve just been busy” and “I’m pretty boring these days.” By far, these two tie for the majority of responses. See? We just don’t love the grind.
And yet...day by day, the song, goes. In case you're not a fan of musical theatre, “Day By Day,” (with a theme borrowed from Nietzsche) was written by lyricist Stephen Schwartz to ask of the Lord to, “see Thee more clearly, follow Thee more nearly,” and “love Thee more dearly...day by day" (by day by day by day). There’s something to this statement...for not every day feels like a red-letter God day. Not every morning prayer or quiet time results in a holy trinity hug-fest. I’d be willing to contend more spiritual growth is experienced in the day to day disciplines of life than the hallelujah-filled, hanky-waving moments.
My fabulous friend Rachael recently reminded me of Brother Lawrence, a monk who is known for his writing on intimate relationship with God during a period of history not famous for its feelings. Brother Lawrence reminds us that each action of our day, boring or not, should be given to God, used as praise to Him, and dedicated for His purpose. Brother Lawrence found the holy in the day to day, practicing what he preached as a soldier, a valet, and finally a layman in the Discalced Carmelite monastery.
Here's the real dichotomy of the matter, to me anyway, we tread through our days, finding discipline in the small things, but the Bible says, “This is the day the Lord has made.” Such a paradox. Not, all these similar days, the Lord has made. Not this whole string of deadlines and workloads and to do lists, the Lord has made.
Yes, most of my days are spent in ordinary toil - even if it is unto the Father - and so, I tend to lump them into something that could use a little movie-style editing. God however, sees it differently. He says, right here, right now...THIS is a special day, one I’ve made just for this moment, just for you.
Considering this lesson as a designer helps me process it. I will make hundreds, if not thousands of ads in my career. Each ad requires the same things to be a success. I need a headline, I need a call to action, I need a brand - every single time; but each ad, even in a series or campaign, is crafted as an individual moment. I carefully select the right photo, consider just the right words, select colors with a purpose. Yes, it’s an ad, just another ad, but it’s not. It’s THIS ad...in this time, for this purpose.
So, when I wake tomorrow, I hope to pause and remember...another day, yes...but this day, for right now. I hope to welcome the holy into the hum drum, to embrace the specialness amidst the insignificance of another day, and maybe I’ll just hum my own underscore for the day’s toil.