Much of the spiritual writing we’ve inherited comes from monks and mystics. Their vision for the spiritual life may inspire you, but it can also leave you with the nagging impression that you’ll probably never find your way into enough open, quiet space to let God find you. You have a hard enough time finding yourself in the midst of the busy, demanding, active life that is yours. You’re lucky if you can squeeze out a handful of minutes each day to return to the center through prayer and meditation. Because you cannot withdraw and live a life of prayer, much monastic teaching and most mystic intimacy with God seems beyond your reach, written for someone who doesn’t share your kind of life.
None of those who write anything worthwhile about the spiritual life intend this. They know that the most humbling and ordinary tasks of daily life matter. They do not intend to leave any of us with the impression that the real spiritual life is lived in some airy-fairy place of bliss. No, God meets us in the most surprising of places . . . where we live and work and play each day.
In Jesus, God came among us bodily. God made matter holy. God blessed and celebrated ordinary life. God hidden, incognito, tucked away in the most surprising of places. God growing in the womb of a teenager. God born in a peasant’s stable. God crying, nursing, needing someone to change his shorts.
Those who were looking elsewhere for God’s grand entrance missed God’s humble coming.