The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Finding God in Our Daily Work

It is obvious from the Scriptures, that we are required to be "diligent in business;" "whatever our hand findeth to do, to do it with our might;" "to provide for our own households;" and undoubtedly every person must, on Christian principles, regularly and conscientiously, accomplish the appropriate work of his hands, whatever it may be.

But here also, as in every thing else, we must recognize the presence and agency of God. We must do whatever God requires us to do; and must recognize him alike in the fulfillment and the disappointment of our efforts. We must not think too much of the inferior instrumentality of the rain and the sunshine; of the turning of the furrow and of the planting of the seed, although these are important in their place; but placing these and all other secondary acts and causes comparatively under our feet, must endeavor to gain a higher position, and to stand in nearer proximity to the Primitive Agency. "He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he, that regardeth the clouds, shall not reap." God works in connection with second causes; but not in dependence on them. They are his servants, and not his masters; a sort of dumb expositors of his purposes and will, but in no sense, though blind man seldom looks above them, the originating and effective cause. "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good." [Ecclesiastes, 11: 4, 6.] Blessed is the man, who, as he goes about his daily business, tending his flocks with Abraham, or ploughing his fields with Elisha, can see God in trees and flowers and running brooks, in hills and valleys and mountains, in clouds and in sunshine; and can connect him, as an intelligible and effective agency, with everything that has relation to the time and the place, the nature and the results of his labors.

— edited from The Interior of Hidden Life (1844) Chapter 10.

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