Undramatic and unheroic

"God in fact reaches us where we are, at home, in the prosaic reality of our daily lives. Before we start to lay huge spiritual demands on ourselves and present ourselves with some great hurdle in our spiritual life, perhaps we should try to live out our daily lives 'tenderly and competently'... This is where the relevance of the Rule becomes clear, for the Benedictine life it shows us is undramatic and unheroic; it simply consists of doing the ordinary things of life carefully and lovingly, with the attention and reverence that can make of them a way of prayer, a way to God"

Esther De Waal, Living with Contradiction, p. 71

I have this hanging on the wall above my desk. I don't know anymore where I copied it from. I'm pretty sure it was quoted in some other book or article that I read.

This morning in meeting for worship at my sons' school, I was thinking about Liz Opp's query/prayer, "God, how can I be of service?" And the answer I was hearing was that it's not going to be, "hey Robin, lead my people out of slavery," or "Stop the Iraq war." It's more like, "Stop and hold the door for the rest of these people," or "Sit down and listen to your grandmother tell that story AGAIN."

God may have bigger work for me. Actually, this week I am working on preparing a workshop that I've been asked to lead in 2009. But most of today (and tomorrow, and most of 2009) is just going to be undramatic and unheroic. If I can do it "tenderly and competently," that will be good enough.

One of the geniuses of Quakerism, for me, is the idea that we can live a consecrated life in our regular families. Ministry isn't a separate job, only for specially called people who only do ministry and never laundry. I keep repeating that it matters a lot to me that for Friends, motherhood and ministry are not mutually exclusive. Even if the lack of single-minded focus is frustrating at times.

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Blogger Allison said...

I read somewhere that when Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize, someone asked her for advice on how to create world peace. Her answer? "Go home and love your families."

11/07/2007 5:22 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Ah, yes. And in the Pacific YM book of Faith and Practice, it lists tender parenting as one of the most important peace vocations of our times. This is good to remember, and it is just not enough either.

11/07/2007 11:45 PM  

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