Engage

The Sacrament of Everyday Life

The other day I had the most pleasant moment. A man was outside mowing his lawn and I got hit with that pungent smell of fresh cut grass as soon as I opened my door. Then I remembered my dad. He would spend a warm Saturday morning cutting grass. Usually, we would have the windows open and could hear and smell what he was doing. My mom, in our little yellow kitchen, and gospel music blaring in the family room usually meant it was time for us kids to wake up and be productive. I would peep out the window and see my dad. He wore his hat tipped up so high on his head. lol, I am not sure why he did that. He had these old beat up grass cutting shoes. They were so dirty he would leave them on the porch. When I was younger we actually had a barn door in our kitchen that let out to the back porch. We would open the top latch and let the crisp air in and the sunlight would peek into that little yellow kitchen- all was right with the world.
 

My moment of grass smelling, as simple as it was, ushered me into a moment of gratitude. It caused me to slow down and thank God, for the beauty of family, for my childhood and the security my dad and his dirty shoes brought to my family. For me, those grass cutting days reminded me that my dad took good care of us. What a sweet moment found in the minutia of everyday life!
 
There is a myth that has permeated church culture for centuries. German theologians and philosophers sought to remove the mystical from the normal so as to distance God from one’s everyday life. Thus, the chasm between the sacred and the secular was born. The effects of this myth have reverberated through time and wrecked havoc on the church as we began to train our minds to compartmentalize God.  Damage is done whenever we limit the scope of God; how can we truly appreciate the Creator when lack perspective on his creation? Compartmentalizing God leads us to compartmentalize how we interact with him. Do you experience God only on Sundays? Have you considered that God may want you to worship him through your work, your family or your finances? Most of us have relegated God, our Christian experience, and just simply enjoying his presence, to the church house. When we leave that sacred ground we leave God too. 
 
 The false dichotomy of the sacred and the secular has dominated modern thought for some time now, however, a quick survey of God's divinity throughout every aspect of life demonstrates the depths of our God and his all-encompassing grasp. Just think… the natural and the supernatural co-mingle every time your heartbeat! Imagine a muscle roughly the size of your fist pumping oxygenated blood through the body every, breath sustaining life with flawless precision. 
 
Surely, when we slow down we can see the beauty and complexity of our great God in all things. This isn't to say that our formal worship and observance of the sacraments are not useful drawing us closer to God. However, sometimes we miss God in the little things when we only look for him in the big things. What if we can see God’s provision in a raindrop lingering on the tip of a leaf? What if we can see his character in how a mother holds her child? What if we can experience his familiarity with us, in the comfort of curling up with a good book? What would our devotion to God look like if every moment, in fact, was sacred? 
 
I think we would all benefit by approaching our everyday life as if unto the Lord as the scripture says. Therefore, I am learning to lift up my eyes to the hill in the ordinary and the extraordinary. I am slowing down, to experience, to gaze, to enjoy, to remember and to stop and smell the grass every once and a while. 
Christen Jacobs

Christen Jacobs is a wife and mother of 3. She earned her Masters in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2014. She has served as the youth coordinator and small groups coordinator at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas Texas. She has a passion for exegetical teaching and has had the pleasure of speaking at various conferences and teaching Bible classes. Christen and her husband are inner-city missionaries who work to equip every member to sow seeds for the kingdom through helping individuals and churches respond to the great commission. Christen’s ministry passion is empowering women to be curious readers of the word of God. She also has a strong emphasis in engaging generational and cultural differences, as she has a background in missions traveling extensively in Asia, and Latin America. She enjoys writing her blog, cooking, dancing and cuddling up with her family and Netflix.