A simple quote from “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence (a 17th century lay monk) has stuck in my brain since first I read it.
“I turn the little omelet in my pan for the love of God.”
This was the continual attitude of Brother Lawrence, that everything he did 24/7 was done for the glory of God. In his writings he frequently refers to things like continuous communication with the Lord, and being in His presence at all times – whether at work, play or worship. Brother Lawrence considered the most holy and necessary element of a truly spiritual life to be our living in the presence of God. In his words,
“That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speaking humbly and lovingly with him in all sea-sons, at every moment, without limiting the conversation in any way.”
You may be asking by now, “How can any person accomplish such a relationship with the Lord? I live in this world and must take care of necessary matters in order to continue to do so.”
First of all, we must recognize that Brother Lawrence, too, had day-to-day responsibilities. The mundane tasks of daily living were assigned to individual monks; his was in the kitchen where he labored with others to provide sustenance for the entire monastery.
The point Brother Lawrence makes is that it was through these mundane tasks that he communicated with the Lord. “I turn the little omelet in my pan for the love of God.” It’s a matter of the heart.
During my initial short-term mission trip to a foreign land, my team members and I talked continuously about the Lord as we stuck cement block and tamped dirt floors in a new community for victims of a major hurricane. By the end of the day, my heart was so filled with who He is and what He has done that sleep escaped me.
Throughout the night, my brain continued the worship that had occupied my daytime hours. I “awoke” early the next morning with a newfound zeal. The daytime hours that followed continued to be filled with praise and worship—day after day through the entirety of our mission. As a result, so much more was accomplished than merely building a few new houses.
According to Brother Lawrence, “[God] does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has be-stowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him.”