the feeding and the washing and the fixing

...they would search for God
and perhaps grope for him and find him—
though indeed he is not far from each one of us.

For “In him we live and move and have our being”... (Acts 17.27-28)

I’ve at times felt a bit concerned that I’ve been spending so little time doing “spiritual” work. Like preaching or writing about spiritual things, or even having those kinds of discussions. And instead, so much of my time is taken up with the everyday maintenance of things and people, feeding and washing and fixing. Not that I’ve found it so much less satisfying. But I’ve wondered if I’ve become caught up in pressing needs and distracted from the “higher things.”

If Paul’s words are true, though (as the mystics affirmed), that “In him we live and move and have our being,” then it looks a little different. If God is intimately involved with all things, not just prayer and preaching, then how is God spending his time? Not mostly in the “higher things.” Because those do not make up most of our lives. Most of our lives is the work of everyday maintenance, the feeding and the washing and the fixing. Those are the things we need. And we experience love when we are helped with those needs. So it is not surprising that God is in all these, too, shaping us through these things more steadily and persistently than in the more intense moments of prayer. Or perhaps the daily experiences in which we seem motionless actually provide the basis and energy that enable the leaps of more “spiritual” moments.

So if God’s work is in all things, and he is spending most of his time loving us through the feeding and washing and fixing we need, then shouldn’t I be content to spend most of my time doing those things with him?