I don’t know what you do with your Sundays. I work.
If I’m preaching that Sunday, I fall out of bed at about 4:30am or 5, French press two cups of coffee–wait–delete my junk email, and maybe post something on Facebook I sleepily think is really profound. By then my coffee is ready and it wakes me enough so I can read what I posted and see it is really stupid. So, then I pray and try to pull my sermon out of the mud.
Around 8am I troop off to Dakota Ridge High School (our church meets for worship in a local high school so we can be a part of and impact our local community). At the school, I help some people I love to hang out with unload our trailer which contains rolling crates full of sacred stuff like crayons, microphones, a beat up Bible or two, lots of cords, and some communion wine. Then we set it all up. We unfold about 100 folding chairs–making sure not to use the ones with gum stuck on them–perk gallons more coffee, set up a cross and an altar, run enough cords to snare an elephant, and practice the music.
During all this, we talk to each other. And look for lost sacred stuff somebody repacked in the wrong rolling crate. And laugh. A lot.
Occasionally something unexpected happens such as the building is locked because the custodian slept in, or the trailer falls off my trailer hitch en route because it was not attached correctly, or my Pathfinder breaks down because it had a million miles on it, or I lock myself out of my co-pastor Mike’s truck while it’s parked in the middle of the street because I’m a dummy.
Finally at 10am (or more likely 10:15) a crowd gathers and we drink more coffee, sing, eat, talk and laugh, pray, read the Bible, participate in a sermon, maybe watch a movie clip, sing some more, and then have it all packed back up by noon. We also watch and listen for God in case he rolled out of bed that morning too.
Sometimes seeing and hearing God in the midst of all this is the hardest part. Not because God didn’t hear his alarm. With all the work, loading and unloading, tripping on cords, and practicing, I forget that even this work is spiritual. And I don’t mean just the praying and preaching. It’s as easy in my work to miss the spiritual as it is in yours.
What’s so spiritual about crates, cords, and coffee? The same thing that is spiritual about your work.
- Our work is spiritual when we perform it with the most passion and God-given skill and intelligence possible. This makes God–and in return–us happy. God invented work–all kinds of work. Not just the obviously spiritual, like being a pastor. When we do the work our world needs done, delivering packages, fixing cars, selling cell phones, God is pleased. God is smiling when you do your work well. Stop for a moment and notice.
Our work is spiritual when we serve people and our world. My prayers and sermons may not be as concretely usable as the houses I built when I was a carpenter, but I do provide a service. So do you. Our paychecks–minimal as them might be–provide for others. Our work is how God encourages us to participate in caring for other people.
- Our work is spiritual because it fulfills the purpose that God breathed into each of us. And as I’ve learned in the mundane Sunday morning set up, this purpose need not be dramatic and world-shaking. Most often purpose flows through the little pieces of our work like light refracting in a prism. Our work is unique and beautiful. And work lets us know we count. This is the theme of the beautiful movie “Hugo.”
What do you do with your Sundays or Mondays or Thursdays? Something spiritual no doubt. But you–like me-may not have recognize it easily.
Eugene C. Scott secured his first job at age 12 and has since mowed lawns, cultivated carnations, sorted packages, fought fires, fixed machines, built houses, refurbished car batteries, sold paint, roofed houses, dug ditches, cleaned bathrooms and classrooms, brewed coffee, and even collected unemployment in his long and varied work-life. He is grateful to be co-pastor of The Neighborhood Church. You can join the Living Spiritually community by following this blog and clicking here and liking the page.