One idea stuck with me from a conference I attended. The speaker talked about two ways of looking at life. First, you can see that God is a part of my story. He might be a big part or a little part but He is out there. Conferences are when a speaker challenges you to make God a bigger part of you story when he starts to get crowded out be regular life. The second way of looking at life is not where God is not a part of the story. That really comes back to the first case because removing God completely from our thinking is really just something we do for a while. Something always happens to bring thoughts of the transcendent back.
The second view of life is to see yourself as a part of God’s story. That may seem like a small change at first but when you think about it you begin to see the difference is huge. The question of how much of a role God should play in my life goes away. My life is a gift from God and it is a joy and a privilege for it to be given significance by God. So the question becomes, how much of my life has been honored with an importance in God’s story? The answer is all of it. Amazingly enough even seeming insignificant private thoughts can become very powerful. If we choose to use them in prayer or worship we can change the world.
I think this is a good follow on to my recent post on marriage as a vocation. Rather than viewing my marriage as the whole and God as a subset of it, I need to see God as the whole. My life, my marriage, my family are part of God’s story—part of God’s plan. It is not my prerogative to invite God into my marriage. Instead, it is my place to offer up my marriage, my family, indeed my life to His will. Everything I am and everything I have already belongs to God. It is up to me to live my life in a way that acknowledges Him as the one true source of everything. St. Therese of Lisieux understood this as she wrote of her “Little Way”. No action is too small or insignificant to be offered as a prayer. I need to take to heart my morning offering and present to God my every thought, word, and deed.