Tag Archives: Brother Lawrence

Daily Drudgery

Abiding in God in the Monotony

As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?

Hebrews 12:7 NLT

Drudgery is our ordinary, mundane, prosaic, day-to-day existence. Learning to live a supernatural life of abiding in Christ in the midst of the daily grind is a mark of spiritual maturity. The daily grind is an enemy to our spiritual lives only when we allow it to prevent us from experiencing God’s presence in the mundane routines and activities of life. We must understand that the ordinary, sometimes boring, activities of everyday living are a form of spiritual training used by our Heavenly Father to draw us into the presence of Christ.

As we look in faith, God can be found and experienced in the dishwashing, the lawn mowing, the vacuuming, and the driving commute. We must not forget that God’s presence is available to us in the boring, mundane, ordinary, routine tasks of life (John 15:1-5). As Brother Lawrence advised, God’s presence can be practiced, cultivated, and enjoyed in the daily tasks of cooking, cleaning, shopping, and work. “The time of business,” said he, “does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clutter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess GOD in as great tranquillity as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament” [Practicing the Presence of God].

We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the strain magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 1989), October 21.

We cannot escape from our daily routine, because it will go with us wherever we go . . . . God must be sought and found in the things of our world. By regarding our daily duties as something performed for the honour and glory of God, we can convert what was hitherto soul-killing monotony, to a living worship of God in all our actions. Everyday life must become itself our prayer.

Karl Rahner, “God of My Daily Routine,” in Encounters with Silence (Chicago, IL: St. Augustines Press, 1999).