Earlier this month I went on a six-day Retreat in Everyday Life. Usually we think of retreats as going away, being very quiet and very still. Yes, I had times of quietness and stillness, but it happened in the midst of my normal work week. In fact, it was one of the four busiest weeks of my year, when a couple of quarterly meetings I lead coincide with ongoing work and regular meetings.
Some of what I learnt during that week was the joy of the inescapability of God: he’s not leaving me, ever! And he’s okay to be with me wherever I am, in whatever state I am. He’s walking my unique, everyday road every day with me. That includes being with me in my work: my ministry work, my marriage and family work, my housework, my friendship work, my work with those I encounter in everyday life (fewer people than a few months ago!) … it’s all my work. And it’s all good in my Father’s eyes.
Dallas Willard* encourages us, ‘Unless you are engaged in activities that are harmful to people, your work is valuable. It is good. God put us here to work….whatever you do, it is good in God’s kingdom. The main thing that will ruin any possibility of staying with Jesus throughout one full day is the feeling that it is not okay to be who you are or to do the work you are doing…
Do [all] your work with the words of Jesus echoing in your mind, “As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20:21).’
*Life Without Lack: Living in the Fullness of Psalm 23, 190-191.(2018, Nelson)