We had a great time at the Story last night. Lynnette wrote a great synopsis of the discussion she led as we looked at how to integrate faith into every area of our lives – mind, body, spirit, and soul.
A lot of the problem has to do with our concept of the sacred and the secular. Due to a variety of factors, we only expect God to be present and active during certain times of the week (Sunday morning, Wednesday night, prayer meeting, etc.). We don’t look for or expect God to be present in the ordinary activities that define our days.
We each diagrammed an average day from the time we wake up until we go to bed. Although our days often vary, they usually are comprised of us getting ready in the morning, going to work or school, eating, watching TV, and spending time on personal pursuits and hobbies. If we were to define our hours into 'sacred' and 'secular' hours according to old definitions, we might feel at least a little bit of guilt at the fact that the large part of our day is not devoted to reading the Bible and praying.
However, readjusting our perspective to consider that God can be and is present in every aspect of life is affirming and liberating and helps us to live, move, and have our being in God. We asked some probing questions:
- What would you do with an extra hour in the day?
- What do you enjoying doing so much that you could do it for 24 hours straight?
- Where do you enjoy being so much that you could be there for 24 hours straight?
- What's the best part of your day?
- What's the worst part of your day?
The answers were fascinating. Some would spend an extra hour reading, others watching TV. Some would want to spend 24 hours asking the questions they never had a chance to ask a loved one. Some would visit family or sit around and drink wine listening to good music.
How can we make our days more holy? I believe that an attempt to live deeply in community with others, to converse, encourage and be with other people, is a very holy task. Spending 8 hours in solitary prayer or Bible reading is not the best way to maximize the 'God' part of your day.
God is no more or less active in any 24-hour time slot. The task is for us to become aware of the God presence around us, to name it, affirm it, and move forward in it.