The following notes are from Chapter 7 of the Shaping of Things to Come by Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost:
In Judaism, there is a distinct activity called kavanah. It is cultivated in order to maximize the inwardness of our actions. It means to pay attention, to direct the mind and heart in order to maximize the levels of intentionality in our actions. This applies to actions/deeds as it does to the study of Scriptures and to prayer but goes beyond these activities themselves to the notion of attentiveness to God Himself. It is not primarily an awareness of being commanded by God, but an awareness of the God who commands. The focus in kavanah shifts from the deed itself to its inner meaning, the goal being to find access to the sacred in the deed itself. It is finding the essence of the task, to partake in inspiration, to be made equal to the task of fulfilling holy commands.
Passion is only evil when it remains in the directionless state, when it refuses to be subject to holy direction, when it will not accept the direction that leads toward God. Because of its innate dualism, Western Christianity has generally struggled to integrate pleasure, passion, and instinctive drives into the faith. As a result, it has tended to focus on the soul and has left bodily drives outside of Christ’s redemptive work. This leaves people to struggle to make sense of these drives.
The missional task of God’s people is to make the not-yet-holy into that which is holy. This is done by directing the deed toward God (and not away from Him) and by the level of intentionality and holiness with which we perform our daily tasks. Holiness is primarily defined not by what we don’t do, but rather by what we do in our hallowing of the everyday. All things, all events, all activities, can be occasions of hallowing if one brings to them the direction and intent of true kavanah.
When one eats in holiness, when one tastes the flavor of the food in holiness, then the table becomes an altar. When one works in holiness, he raises up the sparks that hide themselves in all tools. When one walks in holiness across the field, then the soft sons of all herbs, which they voice to God, enter into the song of our soul.