Sarah Ban Breathnach wrote in Simple Abundance, “If I do not endow my life and my work with meaning, no one will ever be able to do it for me.” If you don’t think enough meaning exists in your life, create it in the midst. Don’t just run errands; use the opportunity to meditate. Pray for the businesses in your community that you have to visit. Your bank and your dry cleaners both could use your prayers. God has created you for a life of meaning and purpose. Enjoy it. Don’t just gulp down a quick bite; choose to “dine” on peanut butter and jelly. Take it outside somewhere, chew it slowly (I promise this won’t set your day back by much), savor the taste of it, enjoy the moment to breathe, and see the beauty.
If you don’t think you see beauty, keep looking until you can recognize and be grateful for one beautiful thing. Celebrate the significance and wonder of life in the present moment. Is it just a quick lunch break for energy, or is it an opportunity?
Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. In your short or long drive to work tomorrow, try to notice a few things you pass every day and never pay attention to. Perhaps you’ll see someone crying in the car next to you, the sunrise that rarely registers, the new shrubs in the neighbor’s yard. The possibilities are endless. You may notice an opportunity to help someone in need, have a great idea for a new business, or see something that makes you want to call your dad. Things of meaning and beauty have been there all along, waiting for you to see, but missed due to being in your own world, while paying half attention to the real one.
Don’t miss the life that is in front of you; mine it for the meaning that is there—and make intentional choices to make the work that you’re doing about something deeper than the work itself. It is the means to the end that you’re aiming for.