Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? How do you feel about drudgery? I mean, is the daily toil and grind in any way an inspiration to you? Perhaps we all need to reevaluate our days since God highly values routine over inspiration.
My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
Those small and tedious tasks, the ones that just need to be done while offering little reward for their completion, tend to be boring, innocuous and just plain, down-right drudgery. Take toilets, for example. It takes some effort, at least minimally, to flush them. I think every time we do, nevertheless, we get a tremendous sense of satisfaction that indoor plumbing has replaced the old outhouse. One of our toilets got blocked the other day, however. The “hero” that had been my toilet suddenly became my worst enemy. Is there anything more toilsome than unblocking a toilet? It’s like that with most things around the house that oft-times require some maintenance. Here’s a little test you might want to take sometime. If you own a dishwasher take note of how you feel when you load dirty dishes into it. Most people do the loading with some gusto and fervor. The dishwasher is saving them time and making them more efficient. There’s reward in loading it. Now, take stock of how enthusiastically you unload it. Typically, and manufacturers of dishwashers have gauged this, most people show far less enthusiasm for unloading as opposed to loading. The reason? Had you done the dishes by hand you would have had to put them away. There is no difference when you are unloading a dishwasher. Either way the work would have been the same and the reward no different. Unloading tends to be little more than drudgery to most people.
2 Peter 1:5 states: “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” What is Peter beckoning us to do here? Is he telling us to bank on the inspiring moments of life to base our efforts, or perhaps just the routine ones?
Here’s a story. It was another family reunion and the family had gathered in the park to celebrate. As the morning wore on and the guests arrived nearly everyone was there but Carl. Carl, a dairy farmer, usually came late to family gatherings. Just past mid-morning he pulled up in his pickup truck and sauntered over to the group. “Hey, it’s Carl!” The greeting rang out. “What kept you Carl?” He shook his head and smiled. “You know, the funniest thing about milking cows, is they just never seem to stay milked. The funny thing about me is that I just keep going back to do it.” (Source unknown.)
Think about it, is there some drudgery in an every task that ultimately provides the best in training us to be Christians of good character? I believe that Carl was a great dairy farmer not because he owned the best milking equipment around, or even owned the finest herd. It was the fact that he kept coming back every morning to DO the milking. Pure drudgery, but it put him firmly on the path from faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly kindness to love, pretty much every morning. Oswald Chambers called this drudgery the “touchstone of character.”I’m sure anyone who knew Carl knew he was a man of character. Like Carl, try setting your sights lower on the things that are drudgery and routine. Unloading the dishwasher makes you an impact player and milking the cows builds the kind of character that God is seeking from each of us. Even unblocking a toilet provides opportunity. God respects routine and drudgery and none of us need look far to find these. Are you looking for big things to do as a Christian; things that will make a greater impact? These are mostly rare moments in life, and waiting around for them is really a holy time waster.
We pray. Thank you Lord for providing us opportunities of ordinary routine and drudgery with which to practice skills of good, Christian character. These may be dirty and boring, but they are our lot and constant proving grounds for faith that leads to love. Forgive us Father when we complain about the work that consumes our time, when it’s the tedious things of this life that are constantly in the scope of your grace and mercy. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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