Modern-day Evangelicalism is replete with new ideas for discipleship. Publishers are churning out book after book, each claiming to have discovered the secret to discipleship; the one way that works.
But Tish Harrison Warren is not interested in a theological debate about the hows of discipleship. She neither offers a program nor an easy way to disciple. Instead, she is concerned with living every day in the presence of God. Like the 17th-century Carmelite monk Brother Lawrence, Warren opines that the barely noticeable everyday activities are habituations of the Spirit. She finds spiritual truth in waking up, making the bed, and brushing her teeth. For Warren, these ordinary daily rhythms are extraordinary opportunities to experience God in a profound and formative way.
For example, waking up reminds us that “how I spend this ordinary day in Christ is how I will spend my Christian life.” Making the bed and sitting in silence for a few minutes reminds her not to unrealistically expect to be stimulated and entertained the whole day. Brushing teeth does not have to be mindless. That moment in front of the mirror can remind us that “our bodies are instruments of worship” and should not be used “in a way that denigrates its beautiful and high purpose.”
Warren’s explication is not exhaustive. There are many more practices she could exegete. Her goal is not to explore every daily practice. Instead, she wants to train us to be sensitive and alert to the liturgical import of our own daily activities so that we can approach them with faith and grow in our love for God and neighbor.
In a world that reduces worship to a few songs and prayers on Sunday morning, Warren’s invitation to simply moment-by-moment worship opens the door for us to seek and find God in the daily and mundane – not just the grand and elaborate. For the Lord is near, and He is with us in traffic on Monday evening as much as at the Lord’s Table on Sunday morning.
As we enter into the last half of the week, consider how you may worship the Lord in the simple, quiet moments.
For more information, check out Warren’s Book Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life.
Author: Community Life Pastor, Jerry Opiyo