Sunday, January 23, 2011

All Within Spirit

“I neglect God and his Angels, for the noise of a fly, for the rattling of a coach, for the whining of a door.” (John Donne)

I have been a “task” person all of my life. Long working days, juggling multiple tasks concurrently, deeply focused, committed to completion. “Doing things” has easily consumed my attention, my energy, my time.

Unfortunately, for many of us “spiritual time” is not one of our “tasks.” We may know that we need to spend time in spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, reflection, discussion, ritual, journaling, or just walking quietly within nature’s beauty. But it is not specified as a task to be checked off, a responsibility promised to others, a time deadline to be met. We usually say that when we get some “spare time” we will go off and give our spiritual practice its few moments, typically on our Sabbath day. We promise to fit it in where we can “tomorrow.” But most often tomorrow never becomes “today.”

What we overlook is that we continually separate our spiritual practice from the other items on our daily to-do list, rather than envelop those to-dos within our spirituality. We see those other tasks as obligations to fulfill, things to do, routine mundaneness that we just “do.” Yet in fact those things we do are a significant expression of who we are, who we have chosen to be. What we do, and How we do it, demonstrate to ourselves and others what we have become, how we have developed, the path we have chosen. As such, they express our current being, our spiritual self as well as our human self. Everything we do is an expression of ourselves. The question is – what does our daily life say about our spirituality and spiritual expression?

All our daily tasks can be done as ends unto themselves, devoid of life and spirit. Or they can be done infused with our sense of spiritual self; as actualizations of our beliefs and character; as free expression of the breadth of who we are in our souls; as a vehicle for God’s presence in, and passage through, us. Every interaction with the people we encounter is a challenge and opportunity to fulfill our true beliefs about humankind and our place in it. Do we show ugliness and separation to others, or extend joy and open embrace to them? Everything that we do is a challenge and opportunity to our sense of purpose and the care we bring to extending Creation. Do we show indifference and carelessness to what we do, or inject a loving intention of beauty and benefit to all that comes from our efforts?

Yes, we need to allow for specific times dedicated to our spiritual reflection and renewal, breathing life into our connection with God and the Universe. But it is also in the meals that we prepare, the plants we place into our gardens, the people that we encounter and speak to through the day, the materials we produce at our desks and on our computers, that we can – and should – affirm and express our spiritual being. It is by surrounding all that we do within a spiritual context that we have not just a spiritual moment, but truly lead spiritual lives.
Prayer for Work
Dear God, please be with me in this work that I do today. Help me to remember that my work is more than just my intentions, my needs, and my ambitions. Let me be guided by your wisdom and intentions. Help me to be mindful of what I am doing, patient in my efforts, and honest in my motivations. Help me bring beauty and love for others into all that I do. Let my full potential be realized through these opportunities that you have brought into my life. Let me find my true purpose within the fulfillment of your greater plan for all that I do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A timely reminder for me. I am working on "practicing the Presence" as Brother Lawrence suggested. I need to be more in touch with God all day long.