Down-to-Earth Spirituality: Encountering God in the Ordinary, Boring Stuff of Life

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by R. Paul Stevens

Most books on spirituality focus on disciplines like prayer and Bible study. But this can mislead us into thinking that God can only be experienced when we are doing something "spiritual." Apart from private devotional times or church on Sundays, God may seem distant and even irrelevant to our daily lives. R. Paul Stevens has a radically different view of Christian spirituality. True spirituality, he says, is down-to-earth--we encounter God in the ordinary, common stuff of everyday life.

Taking his cue from the biblical story of Jacob, Stevens explores the Genesis narrative and uncovers how ordinary moments are made extraordinary, transformed by the presence of God in the midst of the mundane. Dreamer, schemer, worker and entrepreneur, Jacob embodies a multifaceted life of earthy passion and gritty spirituality. Jacob encounters the sacred not only through visions of ladders to heaven and mysterious wrestling matches with angles. Jacob also meets God at home and at work, at meals and in sleep, in solitude and in relationships. From birth to death, through every passage of life, Jacob sees God in the routine details of his everyday experience. "Everyday life is the spiritual discipline in which God continuously and graciously meets us," Stevens writes. And in this book, Stevens helps us see that what appears commonplace on the surface actually has great spiritual significance. When we least expect it, God surprises us by re-enchanting our daily experience and making every moment an opportunity to experience his blessing.