Liturgy For the Common CubeBlog / Produced by The High Calling
Art is a redeeming force. It permeates calloused hearts and invigorates the darkest soul. Art can fill dark places with light, and it can be the medium of true change in a person's life. The liturgy of any church---music, prayer, preaching---is full of art. Church is chock full of poetry, song, pictures, memories, and story. The liturgy of any home---hospitality, decor, chores, routine---is full of wonder. The home, is a place of grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, mystery, longing, good food, fellowship, laughter, design, and paintings. The liturgy of the workplace, the common cubicle, is, well... Is there art there? Is there life there? What, if any, redeeming force lives inside those carpeted walls? Liturgy for the common cube is a way to remember that more happens at work than stapling, collating, typing, and coffee drinking. The common cube is a place many people spend a tremendous amount of time in... so why can't it be part of the rest of the week, home and church, and give us glimpses of wonder and art? How do we begin to form a liturgy of the common cube?
1) It's a safe place to pray. Don't let work be separated from "life." Work is a part of life. So treat it like life and let yourself pray in the cube. You don't need candles, an altar, or Hillsong United. I have a digital prayerbook sitting on my computer's desktop that I can open and go through at noon each day. This helps me see work as just one part of my day the same as the others.
2) Surround yourself with wonderful things. The common cube is the modern day whitewashed fence. It's utilitarian at its finest. Setting, as any good designer or writer knows, creates a mood. Don't let yourself succumb to the utilitarian mindset the cube wants you to have. Fight back. Give your cube some flair. On my desk right now I have a Dodgers bobble head smiling at me, a french press, a fair trade poster, multiple pictures of my wife, a newspaper clipping from the Giants Super Bowl victory and ten Dilbert comics tacked to the wall. In other words, make your cube look like a dorm room, and you'll change your mood.
3) Don't compartamentalize. Cube culture is all about little islands of privacy amidst the ocean of productivity. We're placed into a compartment that is separate enough to be productive in but not removed enough to not be distracted. We must fight against the temptation to think of the cube as a place where life stops and work starts. All of life is vocation, our duty before God. We might not think this is the best duty in the world, but each day time spent in a cube is a paragraph in the story of our lives. What we do in the cube does not stay in the cube---it effects our home life and church life. It may be hard at first, but the cube can be redeemed and filled with wonder. Start slow, see what works for you, and be open how "just a day job" is part of God's story in your life.