The third quotation comes from a book much older than Orthodoxy, but ties in nicely with last week’s quote from Chesterton:
Teach me, my God and King,
In all things thee to see,
And what I do in any thing,
To do it as for thee:
Not rudely, as a beast,
To run into an action;
But still to make thee prepossest,
And give it his perfection.
A man that looks on glass,
On it may stay his eye;
Or if he pleaseth, through it pass,
And then the heav’n espy.
All may of thee partake:
Nothing can be so mean,
Which with his tincture (for thy sake)
Will not grow bright and clean.
A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine
Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws,
Makes that and th’ action fine.
This is the famous stone
That turneth all to gold:
For that which God doth touch and own
Cannot for less be told.
— The Temple by George Herbert (Everyman’s Library 1995)
This poem by George Herbert suggests one way to seek the constant delight described by Chesterton in last week’s quotation. Remembering that all good earthly activities are a window through which we can see God is one way of recovering delight in the everyday tasks He gives us. God touches and owns the labor of producing a paper or sitting on a committee, if we remember to invite Him into it.
What helps you to remember that each daily academic task can be a way of seeking God’s Kingdom? What things tend to make it harder to see this? How do you see the specifics of your summer work as fitting into God’s Kingdom?
About the author:
Dr. Hannah Eagleson loves building the ecosystem Christian scholars need to flourish and create positive impacts, in the university and beyond. She is Associate Director of InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholars Network, a digital first ministry serving thousands of early career Christian scholars. Dr. Eagleson launched the ESN student/early career track at the American Scientific Affiliation annual faith and science conference. She is the editor of *Science and Faith: Student Questions Explored* (Hendrickson, 2019), and the one-semester guidebook *Scholar’s Compass: Connecting Faith & Work for Academics* (InterVarsity Emerging Scholars Network, 2021), with design by noted liturgical artist Ned Bustard. She also launched the Scholar's Compass online devotional series in her previous role as ESN Editor. Dr. Eagleson holds an MA from St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD) and a PhD in Renaissance literature from the University of Delaware.