Some of my most significant moments with God have been with my hands in dishwater. For many years, I’ve been in the habit of starting my morning with devotional reading and prayer. But inevitably, time ticks by, and I need to get up and begin the day before I feel like I’ve quite finished. Paraphrasing the old gospel song, “I’d stay in the garden with Him, but the day around me is starting.”1
So I tell God, We can finish this later, and carry my breakfast dishes to the kitchen. I don’t really enjoy doing dishes, so I sometimes put on some inspirational music or a podcast while I work, but often I work in the stillness and just let my mind flow. I muse over events and wonder about how and why certain things are happening. I think of my daughter and her family and other loved ones, and pretty soon my thoughts turn into simple prayers.
Then sometimes a new thought will come into my mind, something that I’ve never realized before. Maybe a new way of looking at a situation or a bit of encouragement, an idea, or a solution to a problem I’m facing. Sometimes it isn’t even a thought, but a peace in my heart and a feeling of trust and gratitude.
When this happens, it’s obvious to me that it’s not something I’ve conjured up on my own; I believe the inspiration comes from God’s quiet voice speaking within my soul. As Billy Graham said, “I can tell you that God is alive because I talked to him this morning.”
Look at the amazing example of Brother Lawrence. He was a humble cook in a seventeenth-century French monastery who was able to turn even a boring job, such as washing dishes, into an act of worship and an opportunity to build his relationship with God. He said: “The key to friendship with God is not changing what you do, but changing your attitude toward what you do. What you normally do for yourself you begin doing for God, whether it is eating, bathing, working, relaxing, or taking out the trash.”2
There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God.—Brother Lawrence (c. 1614–1691)