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Acknowledging the hand of God in every day events turns ordinary days into an extraordinary life.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God is complete in Himself. All we see, hear, taste, smell, or feel of the creation about us is an expression of His love reaching out, not His lack longing for affirmation or adulation. The Almighty needs no additional power. The Omniscient One has no need of informants or counselors.[1] He cannot be surprised by our accomplishments or failures.[2] The Everlasting God never runs out of time and is therefore always on time.

We traipse through turbulence, trouble, and trauma wondering why and how and when. He sees the end from the beginning and never fails to accomplish the good He plans. Praising God raises us beyond the ordinary chaos of life to the wondrous and orderly love of God. Extraordinary days are days filled with praise.

Psalm 136:1-9
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;
4 to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever;
5 to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever;
6 to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever;
7 to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever;
8 the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever;
9 the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever; ESV

We have a choice in every dawning day. We can see the sunrise as a prod to push through another episode of our work-a-day lives or recognize the love of God shining down on us in an invitation to join Him in His plans and purposes.

Psalm 145:1-2
1 I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. [Emphasis added.]

If praising God is our daily practice, no trouble or trauma or life will find us on sinking sand outside of the shelter of His wings.

Psalm 27:1-6
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

How Synchronized Praise Changed the World

Next day delivery of international products is an expected convenience of modern life, an occurrence so common as to seem mundane. But when one considers the complexities and coordination required to maintain that reality, it is a bewildering accomplishment—an accomplishment we all benefit from because a hermit was devoted to prayer and praise.

Benedict of Nursia was a young Roman noble discouraged and overwhelmed by the dissipated life of his contemporaries. He removed himself from the Eternal City to live in a cave in his pursuit of Christ. His decision would change the world in ways he never imagined. In a slave-holding society with clear distinctions between clergy and laity, he built an order dedicated to fraternal life that embraced all men equal in Christ. He viewed work not as a condition peculiar to slaves, but as the universal lot of man, necessary for their well-being and essential to their Christian walk.[3] And he prayed.

Psalm 119:164
Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.

Benedict of Nursia cited this verse in his monastic rule to set the times of prayer. These seven times of prayer became known as the canonical hours, the times of the day monks prayed in concert.[4]

The monks’ need to pray at specified times led to a greater proliferation of clocks and time keeping during the middle ages. Clocks in turn allowed town and country folk to begin synchronizing and coordinating their labor. Coordinated labor translated into an increased economy. Increased economy turned into progress. And that progress, spurred by developing better and better clocks, eventually became known as the Industrial Revolution.

Our modern concept of punctuality stems directly from the urgency of Western Christian monks desiring to pray together and praising the Lord “seven times a day.”[5]

Scheduling meetings is a regular facet of the work-a-day world. Setting time aside for God is no less practical and yields divine dividends. With God, nothing is ordinary. In the pavilion of praise, every day is filled with purpose and the sure knowledge of our Father’s lovingkindness.

[1] Ps. 147:5; Isa. 40:13-14.
[2] Isa. 46:8-10; 1 John 3:20.
[3] New Advent, Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “St. Benedict of Nursia,” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02467b.htm (accessed October 7, 2018).
[4] Documents of the Christian Church, Henry Bettenson editor. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1963, p. 117 sec. XVI.
[5] These insights were gained from David S. Landes, Revolution in Time, © 1983, 2000 by the President and fellows of Harvard College.  It is published by the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  With regard to the observations mentioned, see especially Chapter 3, “Are You Sleeping, Brother John?”