I hate to do laundry. Well, that’s not entirely true. I actually kind of enjoy sorting the dirty laundry, oddly enough. I don’t have a problem getting it into the washer. Sometimes I forget to keep it going by moving it to the dryer to start a new load, but it’s not necessarily something I put off. I just forget.
The part that I hate actually doesn’t start until the dryer stops. For some very odd reason, there is something quite loathsome about pulling laundry out of the dryer, folding it, and putting it away. I simply hate to do it. So, I have a tendency to put it off. Clothes have to be washed, but they don’t have to be folded and put away. Instead, they can just pile up in huge mounds in my bedroom waiting to be worn or used. And, I don’t mean piling up for a day or two. I mean a week. Or two. Or three. Or more. Yes, that is my dirty little secret. Well, it’s one of them anyway.
I have learned over the years that folding and putting away is much quicker, easier, and less burdensome if I do it one load at a time. When a load comes out of the dryer, I can have the whole thing folded and distributed in fifteen minutes tops, and that’s just if it’s a load of whites that tends to be a little more time consuming. But, even armed with this knowledge, I still very rarely actually put such a time-saving action into practice.
I often find the same tendencies mirrored in my spiritual life. Shocking, I know. God shows me something I need to do. It could be a spiritual discipline I need to implement. Or maybe forgiveness I need to work on. Even an act of kindness for someone or a parenting change I need to make. I jot it down in my journal or planner with every intention of putting it into practice. But, putting it into practice requires a definite action. Attentiveness. A change in the pace of my life. And, so often I neglect to put the effort into each thing as it comes along.
Instead, I let the list pile up. I know I need to implement each thing, but I’ll get to it! Eventually! Yet, the more I let the list pile up, the more I am overwhelmed. One day I might pick up a few pieces of the list to begin to tackle, but then I realize that the pile is still growing, and I feel that I’ll never get to the bottom of it. Just like that mountain of laundry!
How much better would it be if I would tackle each thing, one step at a time, as the Lord hands it to me? How much smoother would my spiritual growth be?
God is working faithfully to make us into the image of His Son. The process is not easy. It’s work. It’s a challenge. But, He equips us daily to rise up to the challenge. When we put off taking each step, however, we make life harder on ourselves. Eventually, we hit a brick wall of growth that requires back-tracking one step at a time to find where we stopped. Where we distanced ourselves from growth. Where we missed an instruction, a confession, or a step.
May we stop procrastinating. May we stop piling up our instructions from God. May we instead be faithful to grow every single day, obeying Him in each task set before us. And may we see the beauty of growing, slowly and steadily.