Chris and I were talking this weekend about work. We got a little bit into the topic of work as a spiritually-forming experience. Basically, your spiritual character is forming all the time, during your regular day-to-day life. In some respects, it’s much like parenting: your kids’ characters are developing and forming all the time, whether you’re intentionally trying to influence that process or not. It’s naive to believe that your spiritual maturity is only being formed and influenced when you’re at church or in a small group, or otherwise consciously thinking about spiritual matters.
Since you spend so much of your time at work, it stands to reason that much of your spiritual formation and development takes place at work. (And here, I’m considering whatever your primary vocation to be as “work”–if your primary vocation is a parent, then that work is equally applicable here. Possibly moreso.)
Think about it. How many decisions do you make at work that have some kind of moral implication? How many times are you interacting with other human beings, either compassionately and in a Christ-like way, or otherwise? All these small moments are inevitably forming your spiritual character, creating patterns, habits and influencing your beliefs about how the world works. It’s just a question of how conscious and intentional you want to make that process.
There are two songs that I keep hearing on my radio as I scan through the channels on my lengthy daily commute that are really connecting to me right now (I’ll talk about the second one in a later post–it’s a post all in itself). The first is “Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas, and I think I find that song running through my head so frequently right now because it’s a message that God is speaking to me very often in different ways and circumstances. “Our lives are made, in these small hours, these little wonders, these twists & turns of fate. Time falls away, but these small hours, these small hours still remain.”
When we look back at the events that shaped who we’ve become, its easy to focus on the big, major watershed events. And it’s true that some events have the power to radically reshape your soul. But I think that more often, its those small hours, those “little wonders” piled up day after ordinary day, that in the end define who we are.