If I had my druthers, I suppose I would spend most hours of most days doing what I love—quality time with family, reading, eating fine food, enjoying scintillating conversation with friends, walking in the woods, traveling to exotic places, napping in the afternoon, going to baseball games, writing.
But life intervenes, and I must do a bit of or a lot of what I don’t exactly enjoy—getting an oil change, buying underwear, vacuuming, filing income taxes, installing software, putting gas in the car, getting a haircut, enduring political shenanigans, driving from one place to the next. But those ordinary everyday activities are also what make life. I was still a teenager when someone told me you don’t have to take out the garbage. You get to take out the garbage.
These days leading up to Easter are called Holy Week on Christian calendars. I’m glad we set aside time to pay attention to matters of ultimate value—love, grace, sacrifice, humility, transformation, resurrection, celebration. But those can happen on a Tuesday in February or a Monday in October. I have a minimalist theology of sacred days and sacred space, because I also believe God can speak out of a burning bush when we’re taking a walk, or through an animal that is aggravating us, or through a misadventure on a journey. The Bible is full of such stories.
This nitty-gritty stuff is the texture of human existence—ordinary life made holy.