We are in a season of transition for many, as young people are graduating from high school or college, couples are getting married, and other individuals are making changes in their residences or occupations.
With transition being the focus of many people’s attention, it seems appropriate to address the question of what things make life meaningful. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said that her motive for doing her often difficult and unpleasant work with the dying and persons living on society’s margins was, simply to do “something beautiful for God.”
I am quite sure that many of us consider a lot of the tasks we find ourselves doing, whether it be responsibilities of our jobs, routine household tasks, or the regular duties we have in caring for our families, to be mundane and boring. How can these routines be “something beautiful for God?” we may ask.
We may find it difficult to see any spiritual meaning in these things we do, and the longer we have been rutted in these routines, the harder it may be for us to see any way that these chores can strengthen our relationship with God, or help us to grow spiritually. We may even find ourselves quietly pondering, “Do these tasks I do make any difference to the world around me?”
Many assume that one can best develop godliness when one is able to escape the drudgery of the everyday. Getting away from it all to pray or contemplate might seem to be the best way to get closer to God, but many of those who developed Christian monasticism actually found the opposite to be true.
Although many sought to escape to the seclusion of the desert or other austere and secluded surroundings, many came to recognize that it was in the workplace, as they did their necessary daily tasks, that God worked in them, as much as God worked through them.
Wherever we labor, whether it be at duties we have aspired to do or simply the job that we are currently assigned in our occupation, that is the place where God can best build our character and make us more Christlike. It is in the monotony of these duties that our lives can become living prayers, following Paul’s call to “pray without ceasing.” (I Thessalonians 5:17)
In Colossians 3:17, Paul writes, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Our daily life is a sacred journey where God calls us to holiness.