The Deeply Formed Life: Mindful practices in a Mundane World
The Deeply Formed Life: Mindful Practices in a Mundane World
Ordinary practices are opportunities to glorify God. Deeply formed life is not compartmentalized.
How do we live a deeply formed spiritual life in the mundane world of daily life? We’re
clearly instructed to glorify God in everything we do (1 Cor 10:31), but what does that mean on
Monday morning when we’re running late for work, we can’t find our phone, and we spill coffee
down the only clean shirt we could find? It helps to recognize the primary reason the mundane
realities of our world challenge us is that we artificially divide our life into two spheres, a
“spiritual” one and a “physical” one. So its easy to think of glorifying God by doing what we
consider “spiritual” activities (having a daily quiet time, prayer, community group, etc) but we can’t imagine God having anything to do with the mundane physical part of our world.
It helps to know that is exactly the struggle of some in the early church who thought the
“physical” had less value than the “spiritual.” They thought that Jesus himself only seemed
to have a body because he was only a spiritual being. This early view was called Docetism,
from the Greek word Dokein which means “to seem”, that Jesus only seemed to be really
physically human. So to counter this the gospel writers emphasized that Jesus really did eat,
drink and sleep, and most important physically died and physically rose again with a real
actual body that could be touched. Jesus’ physical death and physical resurrection are the
cornerstones of our salvation. So the Apostles made statements like 2 John 1:7 that emphasize
Jesus came in the flesh.
Jesus calls us to follow him in bringing Glory to God in all that we do, in our actual
bodies. So how do we live an incarnational life...a life that brings glory to God in all that we do?
1. Embrace your embodied faith. Psalm 139:14 tells us that our physical bodies are part of God’s creation, but for most of us a glance in the mirror is just a time to either fix what is not right, feel bad about what we don’t see, or zone out while we do a mindless ritual. But caring for our bodies is part of God’s plan for our life in him. Imagine the power of being in the “most humble room” in your house, the bathroom, and knowing that right there you could experience the promise of God.
2. Admit your embodied weakness Our physical, bodily situations are part of the ways God speaks to our soul level realities and needs. When we’re running through our day, and we encounter a flat tire or realize we’ve lost our keys, we are reminded of our need to control or world, our sense that we’re in charge, that it all depends on us, that somehow even if God is sovereign, we’re the ones who have to keep the world turning. Imagine the power in those moments if instead of turning inward in aggravation or moodiness, or turning outwards in grumpiness to others, we turn to God in repentance and dependence. God is the one who told us that he is like a woman searching for a lost coin (luke 15:8-10) so in our moments of losing things we’re free to confess that we’re lost unless God finds us.
Think through one mundane reality in the next 24 hrs. ( Making lunch. Brushing your teeth
tonight. Getting out the door tomorrow. Etc) How can you bring glory to God in that moment?
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