Roughly one third of our lives is spent working. For some it’s more as overtime creeps in, and with the commute, “work” balloons out to this all-encompassing part of our day.
The majority of our time, energy and focus is built around what provides our income and it can easily feel like a very mundane transactional affair.
What if we viewed work as part of our spiritual practise though?
Going against the historical divide between work and ministry, and the split between “the divine and the human”, Shannon and Denise believe our work – in whatever field – can be an arena led by our faith – we just need to reimagine its purpose.
“Work is given to Adam and Eve before ‘the fall’,” Shannon said.
“Work is given as this gift, as this amazing thing that God gives them to do: to cultivate, to make something.”
“Work is given as this gift, as this amazing thing that God gives them to do: to cultivate, to make something,” – author Shannon Vandewarker
Yes, our world now involves toil and work can be a struggle, but Shannon said we’ll find more joy in it if we consider God’s original intent for it.
To “cultivate” or “make” in Hebrew essentially means, “Here’s some materials, be creative with them”, Shannon said.
“’What can you do with them to make something of the world? To make something beautiful that bears God’s image?’
“When we try to become aware of God’s presence and bring this spirituality and real practical work together, we are going back to what was given to us as humanity in The Garden,” she said.
This can be as simple as what Shannon described as a “slow awakening to [her] everyday ordinary life” and the significance of it, and embracing practices like what Denise called “The Liturgy of Commute”.
“Typically we take the same route to work”, Denise said.
“We can used points along that route as reminder-markers to pray for particular people, or take a moment to spiritually prepare for our day.”
We can also “surrender the calendar” and come to God with “open palms” as we ask Him how he’d like us to approach each commitment it contains, Denise said.
Bridging the gap between the “scared and the secular” is something that “transforms our lives”, Shannon said.
“These practices aren’t ends in-and-of themselves, they’re only good in the ways in which we are formed spiritually [as a result]. The endgame is to become more aware of His presence, and becoming more Christlike.”
Shannon and Denise will be speaking at the Morling College Transforming Vocation Conference: Working in the Presence of God from July 15-17.
Listen to their full interview on UNDISTRACTED with Laura Bennett in the player above.