What Is God Doing All Day?
What do you picture God doing all day? Here are just a few possibilities.
God is watching us. We might have been told this as children. God was watching, so if you do something bad—like hit your brother or sister—God will see you. This turns God into something like a guard in a prison who is keeping an eye out for the least infraction of the rules. Or maybe we were told that God is watching over us—something like good parents watching their children playing in a sandbox in the park. God is watching over us with attentiveness, care, and concern.
God is leaving us alone. This answer to the question is a little like what Deism says about God. That God, like a highly skilled artist, created this incredibly fancy and intricate watch (the universe), wound it up, left it on its own, and went off to do something else.
God is loving. It’s one thing to say “God is Love” and quite another thing to say “God is loving.” The first conjures up an image of a big fat glob of love just sitting there. But the second implies love being expressed in specific acts or deeds. But if God is loving, whom is God loving? We humans are quick to answer: “Why, God is loving us, of course!” If we’re feeling particularly humble, though, we might say, “God is loving the entire earth community.” Or if we’re being broad-minded and inclusive, we might say, “God is loving the entire cosmos—the whole kit and caboodle, that is, the zillions and zillions of specific created forms we cannot even begin to imagine.”
God is dancing. I like what theologian Beatrice Bruteau says about God in her book Radical Optimism. She says God is a dancer. This is how she explains God’s relationship to all of creation: “The whole world is the Creator’s expressive gesture. God is in the world as the dancer is in the dance. The dance is the dancer, dancing.” That implies that God’s dancing sustains and directs the movement of the world. It also implies that God is having a good time.
God is giving birth. To answer the question, what is God doing all day, Meister Eckhart, a 13th Century German theologian said this: “God lies on a maternity bed giving birth.” I bet his answer shook up the establishment of his day! In his book Drink Deeply with Delight, the spiritual writer Howard Hanger says this about Eckhart’s words. “‘Waters shall break forth in the wilderness..’ sings out old Isaiah. God’s water is always breaking and giving birth to new life.”
There are many other ways we could answer the question, what is God doing all day. We could say: God is weeping… when we behold the world’s pain. Or God is comforting us… when we feel God’s consolation in our hearts … Or God is playing … when we behold the tiny buds on the trees and the wee green shoots coming up through the mud in spring… Or God is walking with us … when we suddenly have a sense of God’s presence in our lives.
Do any of these answers to the question “What is God doing all day?” resonate with you and your experience of God?
How would you answer the question?
PS: I ask your prayers for the virtual retreat on HOPE I’m giving this week hosted by the Heartland Center for Spirituality in Great Bend, Kansas. I know several readers of this blog are making it. I look forward to meeting you—at least virtually! Thank you all for your prayers.
Here is an unusual video using the photos by the French photographer Laurent Laveder. (I thank my friend Mary Fran for sharing this video with me.) The video suggests yet another answer to the question, “What is God doing all day?” OR, more accurately, “What is God doing all night?” Maybe God is playing with the moon… or maybe God wants us to play with the
Thanks again for reading my blog! I invite you to respond to this reflection below!
God is hiding, playfully, perhaps playing peekaboo, revealing flashes of splendour in the least expected places.
God is godding, and often godding supremely well, in the lives of those at whom “religious authority” might look askance. It has ever been so.
God is mooning, starring, sunning, clouding!
God is (I borrow the coinage) a poemist, and the best there is. God makes us sing, even in extremity, hosanna to those springtime shoots, those fiery fall leaves, those foamy ocean-waves, those spirit-settling snowfalls.
When a hopeless soul says, maybe, maybe life, for all its calamities and collisions, for all its treacheries and tragedies, is somehow good, is somehow worth it, that’s likely God doing what God does best. Being life. Being hope. Drawing us out of the dark places and into the gracious light.
Simply beautiful, Thomas.
Reminds me of the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins…absolutely beautiful!
Good morning, Sr. Melannie…
Good morning, all…
I have never thought about this, and my poor brain is having trouble trying to figure it out! I like what Beatrice Butreau says about God being a dancer and Meister Eckhart’s image of a woman giving birth and your words about the tiny buds and the wee shoots of “mudluscious” spring. I like Tom’s “God is godding” all day, a “godding” that favors the humble not the haughty. Okay, so my try is taken from psalm 141. Perhaps part of God’s day is spent breathing in the incense of our prayers, prayers that may spur God to laugh, cry, give birth, or renew the face of the earth!
God is providing. That’s what come to mind. Since He created everything, His ultimate knowledge knows who needs what, when. I agree with God is loving – so He loves and provides – wow! Blessed.
gosh, I just don’t know WHAT to say… I think God is quite busy….. Quite ….
I Really liked watching the video.
I’ve always wondered if He ever gets the littlest bit tired or discouraged….But mostly, I am grateful that He is everywhere and the head “Man”.
God is good…all the time….All the time …..God is good.
God is so busy but among all those other things…God is comforting those who grieve. God is busy bringing love and joy when we truly search. God is helping us determine the best path to take.
Praying for your retreat
You bring HOPE to so many each week.
I loved the video… it brought me joy and peace…
God is good.. all the time .. all the time God is good….
I really never thought about this either but I loved the video and the concept that God is playing with the moon. I also liked the idea that God is a dancer and spending his days choreographing all of Creation.
I really loved the video, “Playing with the moon“. Awesome.
I definitely resonate with what you said about God’s actions. I see God as an action verb, as mother, father, grandmother and grandfather to us all. And all the actions that they give to us.
I always look forward to opening up my emails on Mondays and reading/listening to your blogs. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us every week. You are awesome. Blessings on your retreat this week. You will truly bring hope to all you will be accompanying. Blessings. ❤️🙏👍🦋🥰🌺
Love the video. Nice reflection on the beautiful universe and calming.
Like any good father….hes providing for me
…taking care of me…communicating…just playing…hangin out….encouraging…guiding…and prob have Jesus babysit when He wants to rest…
God does not need to “do” anything other than take DELIGHT in each of us, created in the divine image. He asks us to “do” the same with all our fellow creatures.
Once again I want to thank all of you who responded yesterday. Your observations, your additions, your insights enrich us all! I welcome more comments below as the week goes on… Thanks again! Sr. Melannie
Best video ever! It made my day.
God is watching over us every second of every day whether we feel it or believe it.
Thanks for all your inspiration every week Sister.
My mom used to love to look at the moon from her window. I can imagine her being in union with God and just enjoying his creation. Thank you for letting us see all the ways God please and creates for us
Stunning photography and gorgeous accompaniment! Just beautiful!
Someone simply said “God is enjoying Himself.”