How to Make Washing Dishes into an Act of Worship

‘The glory of God is a silver thread which must run through all our actions’ (Thomas Watson)

How do you turn an ordinary life into a life of holy devotion? Is there a way to take the burning love of the heavenly seraphim and to translate it into a mundane routine of making porridge, doing laundry, and filling out spreadsheets? Is there a spiritual alchemy by which we can turn acts too trivial for human notice into deeds of worship that bring delight and honour to the throne of glory? The answer is yes, all of this is possible, and the means of performing the shift is no acrobatic feat, but a very simple maneuver that the least of Christians is able to perform.

The key to transforming a secular life into a life of sacred worship is sowing the silver thread of intent through all of our actions. It is important to realise that worship is not a limited set of actions – prayer, singing, reading the Scriptures, etc. – but the end of all human action. Since God has created human beings to be His image-bearers, this means that the highest potential of human life is to be a ceaseless act of worship. Whether sweeping a floor or checking in on a neighbour, whether sitting on a bus or standing in a queue, everything we do (sin excluded) is able to be done in a way that brings delight and joy to the divine heart. And what is it that makes the difference? The answer is intent. When we act for God and deliberately pursue His glory in the midst of ordinary life, this is the philosopher’s stone that turns plain and simple chores into a liturgy of praise.

But this leads to a further question: How do we maintain a focus on God in the midst of the common activities of life? This answer is not as complicated as we might imagine. In short, all we need to do is view each action as service unto God. In Colossians 3:23-24, Paul says, ‘Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward’. This is the spiritual secret of a worship-driven life. If God is our ever-present audience, there will be no such thing as an inconsequential deed. The glory of God will be the silver thread that runs through all of our actions, from the time we wake up to the time we drift off to sleep.