top of page

How to See the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Painting illustrating how we can see  the extraordinary in the ordinary.

One of my favorite movies about artists is Lust for Life, the movie starring Kirk Douglas as Vincent Van Gogh. I especially enjoy the scenes in which the artist packs up his canvas, paints, and brushes, and walks into the city and countryside to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Recognizing the Unseen in the Seen

Through his artistry, Van Gogh transformed workers picking fruit in the fields, a landscape of winding roads along a country village, people eating potatoes, and even his own bedroom.

His use of colors demonstrated a view of ordinary things and activities that transcended what others saw.

He recognized the unseen and put it on canvas so others could see their own version of what he saw. They could stand back and see what he saw, and more.

God colors with supernatural brush strokes.

God wants us to look at his creation and those around us with the eyes of faith, beyond the physical. He wants us to see the unseen with eyes of faith in the supernatural realm, the spiritual realm, where ordinary things and experiences take on a whole new meaning and perspective, his perspective.

Seeing with Spiritual Eyes

As Christians, the presence of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us allows us to know the spirit of God and gives us the potential to see with spiritual eyes as Van Gogh saw with an artist’s eyes.

When you enter the spiritual realm through prayer, meditation on the Word, and focusing on the Lord our God in your quiet moments, your world is transformed in “God moments.” You come to appreciate how God colors your ordinary world with supernatural brush strokes of eternal hues.

Your Appreciation Changes

You learn to appreciate how the tiniest of things and seemingly insignificant experiences have great meaning and relevance. You begin to recognize how momentous world events and celebrated accomplishments ultimately have little eternal significance and relevance.

You Appreciate the Spirit's Movements

You become more aware of the ways the Holy Spirit works in the world and in your life, who like the wind, moves people and events into position according to the Father’s wishes, usually without fanfare, but never without power.

In conclusion, the Spirit helps you participate in the Father’s creativity through simple acts of obedience and meaningful acts of service. As he was present and active in the ultimate act of creation chronicled in Genesis, the Spirit is still the Father’s creative touch in action, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Additional reading:

Listen to God's Words

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. (1 Corinthians 2:12-13)

Also Read: 1 Samuel 16:7, 2 Corinthians 5:7, 2 Hebrews 1:14

In the Words of Others

“Appearances are a glimpse of the unseen.” Anaxagoras

“Much of the important work of God is unseen in the eyes of the world.” Neil L. Andersen

“The unseen God is at work in the darkness, in the doubts, in the disappointments, and in the delays.” Alistair Begg

Think About It

  • How much time each day do you enter the spiritual realm through prayer, meditation on the Word?

  • When you spend time with the Lord, do you see the world around you in a different way? Describe how.

  • Have you ever had “God moments” in your life that have transformed you? What were the experiences and how were you transformed?

Information about Midlife Plus Christian Life Coaching


bottom of page