There was a stretch of time a couple of months ago when I saw Angela with the vacuum cleaner nearly every day. Now, just for the record, I like a clean house. But, I am not a super-duper housekeeper. Typically if you walk into my house, you will see clutter. And, there will always be something that needs to be cleaned.
My floors are no exception. I do not vacuum, sweep, or mop every day, nor do I expect my children to do so. I like clean floors, but there are plenty of chores to fill each day. The floors will get clean – and then they’ll get dirty again. Such is life.
The kids are expected to vacuum their rooms once a week. This is why it surprised me that Angela seemed to have the vacuum cleaner out every time I turned around! I assumed she must love vacuuming.
After about four days of this, I finally stopped her as she was pushing the vacuum cleaner from its storage place in my bedroom to her room.
“Sweetie, you must love to vacuum!” I remarked as she passed by.
“No, I really don’t,” came her honest reply. “I just know it needs to be done, so I do it.”
After expressing my pride in her for doing what needed to be done, I expressed to her – to her great relief – that I did not expect her to vacuum every day. She could if she wanted to, but it wasn’t necessary. She turned around and promptly returned the vacuum cleaner to its spot in the closet and went on with her day.
As is typical with statements from my children, Angela’s declaration made me stop and think. How often do I put off things that I don’t enjoy doing, even though I know they need to be done? Angela didn’t enjoy vacuuming much at all. But, she knew it needed to be done. So, she would put it as close to the top of her list as possible, making sure it got done so she could move on to more preferable activities.
There are certain things in life we will not enjoy. But, they still must be done. They might not quite fit our gifts and talents. They might not be glamorous. They might even be downright annoying. But, they are part of being a member of the body of Christ. They are part of being a priesthood of believers. They are part of being a child of God.
So, how will we approach these tasks? Will we attempt to put them off as long as possible, hoping someone else will do them only to find out they are still looming over our heads? Or will we buckle down and simply acknowledge that they must be done?
I’ve done both, and I can vouch for the fact that the latter choice is preferable by far. Let’s buckle down and do what we know needs to be done. And let’s do it, not because a floor needs to be cleaned, but for the sake of the kingdom of God.