Some of my most joyful moments happen at my kitchen window. It’s right here that I can look out to the backyard, and watch my boys hard at play. The other day as I’m chopping the veggies for supper I watch my oldest as he digs a hole in the dirt and spreads mud across some old bricks. He’s labeled this area of the yard his “work site.” I don’t know what he’s making but he’s got a plan. He gathers sticks and leaves, and with both hands full he stops, raises his arms up in the air and shakes his little hips side to side. There’s music playing in his head and he’s dancing to the beat. I love to see them so happy, so in their element out there. I find myself smiling a lot, laughing out loud even, as I watch them play.
This whole experience is shifting how I see my own life, how I imagine God seeing me. What if he delights in watching me the same way I delight in watching my boys? What if he gets joy out of my joy? Doesn’t this change how we approach our days? How we approach God and our relationship with him?
Maybe you live your life attentive to this already, and if that’s the case, carry on! But I know I don’t, and I assume that a lot of us don’t. I have a tendency to devalue things that I love. There are things that I do that are more important, more “holy”, than other things. Writing is fun, but praying is better. And helping the homeless should definitely be at the top of my to do list.
But what I want for my life is to invite God into everything. To let go of the need to “do” things for him, to separate the important from the not, and instead embrace the whole of who I am. When I’m doing something I love, I don’t have to feel selfish or ashamed. I don’t have to get bogged down with thoughts of “wasting” time or being “unproductive” or feeling less than for not rising to a higher level of spirituality. God is delighting in me!
Whether it’s reading a great novel or putting together a business deal or making lattes or chatting with a friend or cooking dinner for our family, can we imagine God smiling over us? Can we pause, open our hearts, invite God into these moments? All of a sudden everything becomes sacred when we say, “I am here, and God is here.”
Bob Goff writes about this so beautifully:
“It’s not lost on me that of all of the names God could have asked us to call Him, we most often refer to Him as “Father.”…Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, “Let’s go do that together.”
I love nacho chips with fresh guacamole and goat cheese on my salad. I love listening to Ed Sheeran while I shred the cabbage for dinner. I love to snuggle on the couch with my husband while we watch another episode of This Is Us. I love reading to my kids and lighting a candle and sipping coffee and journalling. And I really do love pina coladas and getting caught in the rain (anyone?). I want to do all of these things with God. Isn’t he the source of all this goodness and beauty anyways?
With this mindset, when nothing is done apart from him, nothing is for waste. All is alive with grace.