There are many things I don’t like to do.
If I had to make a list of the top 100 things that make me want to pull my hair out, laundry would have to be #1. For some of you, it might be dishes, or mopping, or geometry: whatever the task, it seems nonessential and bothersome. Could I submit to you though, that how you manage the time you’ve been given along with these small tasks will translate to how much God can entrust you with?
Ponder with me for a second.
You have two kids, an eight-year-old and a five-year-old. They both ask for different pets, the older one wants a goldfish (easy enough, right?) and the younger one wants a bird (we alllll know these require a ridiculous amount of work). You know that the older one, while more capable and knowledgeable than his brother, has a hard time getting things done. He procrastinates, puts in half the effort required, or forgets the task altogether. Your youngest is an anomaly--turns in homework on time, is chronically neat, hates being late, etc. Which one do you think is going to get their pet of choice? Probably little brother, but how do you know he will be able to handle his new bird and all its needs better if he’s never had one?
Because he has proven himself diligent with small tasks.
The same is true with us. Our responsibility for the small tasks we have will translate into how well we will run the women’s Bible study at church or organize the upcoming potluck. If we can be disciplined to do the laundry and put it away the same day (shocker, I know), then it means we’re disciplined enough to be trusted with the bigger opportunities that God has available in our local church and community.
The great thing is, what God gives you to do isn't contingent on your age or skill level, just your faithfulness in small things.
For instance, remember the story of Jacob and Esau? Jacob was little brother, weaker, homebody, momma's boy, etc. But he knew how to use his time wisely. Even as an adult, God entrusted him with cattle, wealth, and wives because he knew how to maximize whatever he was given. Esau, on the other hand, thought that giving up his birthright was minor and wouldn't have any lasting effect. Just a small thing, bartering for Jacob's soup. Inconsequential. But Jacob knew better. He knew that if he could secure this "small thing," it would lead to great blessing later.
So for a bit of practical application, here’s a tip for tasks that you don’t want to do but must be done to develop character, discipline, etc.:
Try this variation of the Pomodoro method: Set a timer for 15 minutes and work on a single task, let’s say it’s laundry, until that timer goes off. Then give yourself a break and either move on to another task or finish the one at hand. This helps you with the hardest part of any annoying task: getting started. I’m the worst about this. The bigger that laundry pile is, the harder it is for me to even think about dealing with it.
Also, remember this: If you have an hour, you have an hour. You can either spend that hour on your couch scrolling through social media, or you can spend that hour tidying your home, knocking out a task for a project you’ve got going on, or something equally productive. Either way, it’s the same hour. Sixty minutes. And it’s going to go by whether you like it or not, so you might as well make it count.
In this season of uncertainty, our world has flipped upside-down, and it can be easy just to stay in survival mode and push everything to the back burner. However, the hours are still passing, even in quarantine, and we need to make the absolute most of them. We still have our families to take care of, even in quarantine, so we need to make our homes clean and peaceful--both spiritually and physically.
The days are going to tick by, we might as well get as much out of them as we can.