I love sharing the Your Daily Life Is Your Temple book by Anne Rowthorn with others and hope you enjoy hearing about the third chapter – Work: The Fabric of the World.
Rowthorn believes whatever it is you do, you are actively continuing God’s work
As human beings, we all experience work in one way or another. Have you ever thought about your work as working for God? Rowthorn believes whatever it is you do, you are actively continuing God’s work. God creates. Therefore we create! In our everyday work human beings continue creating. Ecclesiasticus says it like this, “Without them a city cannot be built… They keep stable the fabric of the world.”
You may be thinking, “How in the world does my typical day job have anything to do with my spirituality?” Again drawing from Ecclesiasticus, Rowthorn makes a beautiful connection between work and spirituality, saying, “a laborer’s work is, in fact, a prayer.” By working, you are, in some way, continuing to be a coworker with God. This didn’t register well with me at first. How does my part-time hosting gig at The Cheesecake Factory influence mine or others’ spirituality? Or how does it continue God’s creation? The answer was simple; my work is an opportunity for self-expression and an ongoing means to convey to others God’s love and justice. Whether my “other” comes each day in the guise of an employer, coworker, or guest, it is my duty as a seeker of Christ to show them God, through my words and actions; to see the holy all around me. I challenge you to do the same. Next time you’re at work, ask yourself how you’re continuing God’s work or showing others God’s love.
- What do you do for work?
- Have you ever thought that the work you do everyday is God’s work? Why? Why not?
- How would your outlook on the work you do change if you adopt the perspective that we are co-creating with God?
Moving on into Chapter 4 Rowthorn looks at the importance of cherishing children and how they influence our faith. Do you believe a basic element of our nature is to nurture, protect, teach, and guide children? If you’re anything like me, the screams of a toddler or baby sends my head into a frenzy. I have always been one to say that I don’t typically attract children so you can imagine my disbelief when Rowthorn argues in this chapter that to nurture and protect children is a God-given inclination for all human beings.
Rowthorn suggests that to cherish and nurture children is truly to serve God. As Jesus says,
Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me”Matthew 18:5.
I still wasn’t 100% convinced of this theory, but I figured if Jesus says it I need to be more open to it. Throughout the chapter, Rowthorn essentially lays out all the things we as adults have to gain from being open to children in our lives. The one I found to be the most influential was that children teach us to grow up and be responsible. This might be very obvious to some, but hear me out. This tiny little life that is now your responsibility relies on you for absolutely everything; they need to be fed, bathed, and taught by example. Children teach us that it is time to put our inevitable selfishness aside and realize that there is someone now in our lives that is more valuable than our self. As Christians, it is kind of our duty to not be selfish, right? We are called to love God and others whole-heartedly, but in order to do that, we have to put our selfish desires aside. Children quite literally force us to do that, so once we learn to do that, our discipleship will surely flourish.
- What are your thoughts on our innate ability to nurture children?
- If you’re a parent, primary care-giver, etc., how has your faith life changed since having that child in your life?