No act of love is meaningless

“I want everything I do to be for the glory of God.”

Have you ever heard someone say this before? Have you ever echoed an “Amen!” to this statement in small group, but had no idea what it actually meant on a day-to-day basis?

I have.

Have you ever heard someone say this is the ultimate goal of the Christian life, and everything not done for this purpose is a waste of time?

But what about…going to the bathroom?

Taking a shower?

Emptying the dishwasher?

Scooping the litter box?

I definitely have.

Taken literally, this concept is not as clear-cut as it sounds. For years I’ve nodded my head every time I heard this, assuming I was supposed to already know this – if the answer wasn’t obvious, I must be doing something wrong.

It wasn’t until last night’s small group that I heard an answer that finally made a bit of sense. Maybe it’s not what you do, per se, but the attitude you have while doing it. In Judaism, there is a prayer specifically for bowel movements – thanking God that those orifices are functioning like they’re supposed to. I used to have a laminated card with prayers in Hebrew and in English for washing hands, waking up, and the ability to breathe.

I thank God for the ability to construct words into sentences and stories that move people. It’s the only skill I have that has been consistent throughout my life since figure skating got too expensive, I moved away from my voice coach, and lost interest in the violin. I thank God for living in an era where publishing is easier than ever (which isn’t always a good thing, but that’s another post).

I certainly feel that some activities are always meaningful: spending time with family, preparing a home-cooked meal for friends, reading a story to a child. I have my own opinions about activities that are not meaningful, and perhaps damaging and degrading. But I’m getting a little tired of hearing other people dictate what is or is not meaningful as if it’s a hard, obvious fact. I have a handful of people in my life who don’t subscribe to any religion, but have cooked for me, opened their homes to me, lent me good books. Some people would say those gestures were meaningless for being done outside the glory of God.

I must digress: I think all good things come from God. It’s not for me to say that a stranger’s life is devoid of meaning because their religious views and life choices differ from mine. I think God is glorified any time we experience pleasure from good things. Glory in bite-sized pieces makes a lot more sense.

What else gives God glory? Watching two sleeping kittens. Now that‘s a fact.



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