Why is it difficult for us to see our daily work as holy or sacred?
The glib answer is that it’s the devil’s work to make us think that way. There is no place in our history, in our tradition, in Scripture that makes that kind of division. Most Christians do their best work in the marketplace, in the home, in the street, doing business, buying cars, selling cars.
One of the really famous best sellers among Christians is Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God. Brother Lawrence was a lay brother. He was not clergy. He wrote these letters and meditations in which he talked about flipping pancakes to the glory of God, picking up straw off the floor to the glory of God.
Just a few years ago, Kathleen Norris wrote a book called The Quotidian Mysteries. She’s a poet, and her book is Brother Lawrence for Americans in the 21st century. Quotidian means “daily.” What you do daily. And she goes through all these daily things and shows the sacredness. This is the place and time when we live to the glory of God.
I say it’s the devil’s work because there’s nothing inherently un-Christian or unspiritual or unsacred about any of those daily activities. But if you have somebody whispering in your ear, “This is not Christian work. You’re not praying. You’re not doing good.” That just distorts you.