“The story is told of three women washing clothes. A passerby asked each what she was doing.
“Washing clothes” was the first answer.
“A bit of household drudgery” was the second.
“I’m mothering three young children who some day will fill important and useful spheres in life, and wash-day is a part of my grand task in caring for these souls who shall live forever” was the third.
from, The Shaping of a Christian Family, by Elisabeth Elliot
I love this story. I made a cross-stitch of it once. It has reframed many days filled with what might otherwise be seen as hum-drum and ordinary… boring is word I never use about my life.
You see, if we can see that even the most menial, mindless, repetitive tasks that we are called to do have an eternal purpose, we become happier to do them.
Colossians 3:17 reminds us: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
And then verses 23-24 go further: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
So let me ask you – what is your perspective on those dull, seemingly endless tasks of your day-to-day life? Can you look at them as part of a much bigger, much more important work? Can you see how cleaning bathrooms, or washing clothes, or filing, or scanning columns of numbers, or reading, or writing – or whatever it is that you find dull and menial – is actually part of preparing the way for you or someone else to “fill important and useful spheres in life”?
As mothers, we are discipling the next generation of mothers, fathers, church members, community members, leaders, pastors, workers, business owners… you get the idea. We’re raising men and women, who will hopefully influence the next generation to do everything they do “heartily, as unto the Lord” as well. And we have a lot of influence on how well that will go.
When we grumble and complain about the things God gives us to do, we communicate to those around us that we don’t see the purpose in what we’re doing. And what THAT communicates is that we don’t believe that this stuff HAS a purpose. But it does.
It all depends on your perspective.