I don’t know what it is about the season of life that I feel is just beginning to blossom before me, but I feel unusually drawn to a sarcastic and seemingly nihilistic outlook to much of life. The odd thing about this, is that I feel like feeling this is truer to myself, than the me that tries to be hopeful, the me that tries to do what is expected. The issue for me in this time, is that I hear voices all around saying sarcasm and nihilism are symptomatic of a broken spirit or dis-integrated emotions.
The idea that anything I’m doing can be holy and sacred, or “spiritual,” has never bothered me. I prefer it over the notion that certain vocations, or activities, are more holy than others. That isn’t to say that there aren’t activities where one may be able to rightfully claim that they are “less holy,” than others, but these are few are far between in my opinion. For the most part, there is not reason why gardening, washing the dishes, checking email, or vacuuming can’t be done in such a way as to honor God. But there is a difference, for me at least, in acknowledging that nearly all vocations can be done in such a way where they become sacred and living this in my life.
I work for a grocery store. It’s a part-time job that allows me to be a full-time graduate student. Even though it is part-time, the job still takes up much of my time. It’s also a job that is very difficult to encounter the divine. It is very easy for me to slip into a mindset where I feel like everything I do is meaningless there. The store is understaffed and has an insane turn-over rate. Whatever I do one day, still needs to be done the next. There will always be more product to break down from pallets. There will always be more stocking to do. There will always be more to do. The job is never done. I don’t know how to see the divine in this place. God is there, I just don’t know how to find God.
Maybe that explains my adoption of more nihilistic thinking. It may not be all meaninglessness. The descent into nihilism can be a place where encountering the Divine is possible.