“This is not how I want to be spending my day”, was the thought that entered my head as I pulled my van into a parking spot for the 15th time in one day. I felt that I had been hauling people around, getting in and out of the car, entering and leaving buildings, looking down hallways for people, dropping off and picking up all day long. But almost immediately another voice said, “You chose this work, and it is important.”
It is true. I did choose this life. Thirteen years ago, I was a young family physician. It was something that I was good at, but it never brought me joy. Actually, it brought me a lot of stress and anxiety. When our first child was born, I made the decision to stay home full time and let my license and my certification lapse. Except for my ministry of spiritual direction, I have not worked outside of the home since.
If I stop to think about what I “do” at all, it tends to be in terms of how mundane the things in my life can be, of how much time seems to be tied up in things that, on the surface, seem unimportant. Shopping, driving my kids to school, paying the bills, cleaning the house.
In her book, Seven Sacred Pauses, Macrina Wiederkehr says, “When we begin our day, most of us probably do not approach our work with the awareness and belief that we are artists involved in continuing the work of creation. From the most sublime to the most menial, work is creativity.”
Years ago, I had a friend who said to me, “I don’t see any eternal value in cleaning my house.” Even at that stage of my journey, I had a glimpse that all things have eternal “value” when done with mindfulness, care and love. And yet, now, these many years later, it didn't seem to apply to just driving around town all day. (Actually, I’m still having a bit of hard time with it, even though I believe it to be true.)
So, as I begin yet another day, I set the intention that wiping the counter, feeding the dog, or sweeping out the garage is all my work. It is my good work. It is also my prayer and in some crazy, mystical sense, it is my offering to the creation of the world.
May all of your work be wonderfully creative this day!