Are you praying and reading through our weekly liturgy? Don’t forget this week, the 6th of the Easter season.
According to my sister-in-law, I’m somewhat of a “game dork.” I like to believe that this moniker is affectionately ascribed, but it is probably accurate regardless. I’ve always loved games. It doesn’t matter the form it takes, whether you break out some cards or dominoes or video game controllers or pick-up-sticks or anything that can be made into a competition – I’m ready to play.
And I’ve always been pretty good at them. Well, except for one: my nemesis – Trivial Pursuit.
You’ve played this game, right? Because I hate it. And it’s not as if I’m an unintelligent person. Staci tells me all the time how much of my brain is taken up by trivial (ok, useless) knowledge. But there was something about this game that has always tripped me up.
I think it’s the way the game is divided. You have to get questions right in all 6 categories: Geography, Entertainment, History, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature and Sports & Leisure. I always found myself searching for that last 1 or 2 slices of my pie. The problem is that there was no overlap. Each slice was independent of the other. So my extensive sports knowledge never helped me with the scientific slice. Keeping everything divided made the game much more difficult.
We have a tendency to divide our lives up like Trivial Pursuit. We have our different slices: work, leisure, relationships, etc. One of those slices gets labeled “spiritual.”
So if we want to be a good Christian, we work really hard to make sure the spiritual slice gets a large portion of our pie. Did you attend church this Sunday? Then your slice is not undersized. Oh, you attended 3 times this week? Well, that slice is much bigger. Have some quiet time with God or volunteer in the nursery or read your Bible every day this week? Wow, your spiritual slice is getting large. And we really like to compare our spiritual slices to one another, judging the depth of our spiritual lives by the size of our slices.
The people who do the most “spiritual” things get labeled as the most spiritual among us. But the problem is that our lives are still divided like that game piece. We label some things as sacred while other activities are secular. And there can be little interaction between the two. We can do lots of spiritual activities and never have them affect the other areas of our pie.
Keeping our lives divided makes life much more difficult.
This, to me, is the beauty of the Holy Spirit. She melts the lines between our pieces and makes life more whole. The Holy Spirit is not bound by our arbitrary borders.
Isaiah pointed to this when he said, “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.” In an era when God had a place – in the temple, in the holy of holies, he foreshadowed a time when those barriers would no longer apply. God would no longer be there, but always be here with us. Jesus showed us what that looked like. And the Holy Spirit only strengthens that reality.
Because we carry around the Spirit of God inside of us, there is no separation of the sacred and the spiritual. Our lives cannot be divided like game pieces. We don’t have to make a pilgrimage to access the divine. God is with us. Everything is spiritual.
Instead of slices, we get the whole pie.
So today may we see even the most mundane activity infused with the divine. May we feel the Spirit of God within us even in places we would not normally label “spiritual.” Because our lives are not divided. We get the whole pie.