“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Brother Lawrence said he was happy to pick up a piece of straw from the ground just for the love of God, not looking for anything in return, but seeking the Lord alone. Over the centuries, readers of brother Lawrence’s letters and written conversations have been intrigued by the image of the awkward, barefoot monk bending for that piece of straw with a wonderful sense of God’s presence. What was going on? How did he find such joy and contentment in his simple daily tasks? Even more intriguing is his confession that although he worked in the monastery kitchen for fifteen years, he had a “strong natural aversion” to it. Somehow that didn’t matter. He was always doing small things for the love of God. He had formed the habit of conversing with God, constantly practicing God’s presence no matter what the circumstances.

How might we emulate this humble brother? Do everything as acts of service for God. Is it possible to consciously do that, moment by moment? Brother Lawrence worked at it and his attitude resulted in God’s giving him “endless gifts of grace.” We might dislike the tasks at hand, but doing everything we do as service for God changes our perspective. Brother Lawrence’s secret was not changing what he did, but “doing for God what we commonly do for ourselves.” Ask the Lord to infuse your mind and transform your thoughts, keeping you in His everlasting care.

Adapted from The One Year Book of Encouragement