Discovering the Sacred in the Mundane

As I embrace my role as a parent, I am letting go of other parts of my life that are flashier and more dramatic. A lot of my time these days is spent tending to mundane things, such as changing diapers, cooking meals, and picking up toys that little hands scattered throughout the house.

It is in these unremarkable things where I am discovering sacred moments. There are moments of seeing God’s divine presence, noticing him working in me and through me, in surprising ways.

Serving is sacred. Oftentimes I feel frustrated with the unending needs to tend to. Someone constantly needs something (milk! a bath! waaaah!), and I don’t have a second to spare on untucking my skirt from my underwear before answering the front door (yes, that really happened). But in all the inglorious serving, I get to choose, yes choose, to lay down my own needs for the sake of loving others. Oh right, that’s at the core of my faith.

Humility is sacred. Every fiber of my being wants to be noticed and affirmed and celebrated. But so much of the mundane is hidden from watching eyes. Young children don’t really shower you with gratitude. In fact, they take it very much for granted that their needs will get met. And so I find a more refined humility being birthed in me. It is a humility that is willing to extend compassion and help that goes unnoticed. It means being aware of my limitations, and asking for help. In essence, it is a letting go of my own ego and self, in submission to God.

Presence is sacred. Today I spent a long time just being with my daughter, delighting in holding her and listening to her baby babbling. It was not productive, at least not in the sense of checking a task off from a to-do list. But it was a joy-filled act of sharing a moment with each other, and being in relationship together without distraction. In these moments of being present with my children, I experience contentment, gratitude, and heightened awareness of God’s presence with me.

Creating a home that welcomes and nurtures people is sacred. Washing dishes so another meal can be enjoyed together is sacred. Reading and playing with children to expand their imaginations and foster creativity is sacred. Meeting with other parents at the park to have companionship in the child-rearing journey is sacred. Embracing a child after he messed up and you yelled at him is sacred. Stopping to pay attention to the need of a friend is sacred.

God is in the mundane parts of life, and if you look intently you might discover surprisingly sacred moments. Do you see him around you?

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