I usually clean my house and do the laundry on Fridays. But if someone suggests something more interesting (and fun) such as a walk, lunch out, or a movie, well I’ve been known to drop the dust rag, stash the vacuum, and leave the dirty clothes in a pile–with a promise to catch up later.
But last week no one came to my rescue! As I busied myself in each room I received an unexpected invitation–from God! I felt prompted to pay attention to what I was doing instead of simply going through the motions. I took time to look at each photo and painting and piece of furniture and to enjoy mopping the hardwood floor and polishing the dining room table that I love.
In the living room I stopped in front of my glass-front cabinet and admired and gave thanks for the many family treasures it holds, from baby shoes to an old bible, a quilt my husband’s mother made eons ago, a dictionary from my grandfather on my eleventh birthday and many others. It’s easy to weep at such a sight and all the memories these lovely things represent.
As I left each room after brightening it up I felt lighter and brighter too. I was reminded of Brother Lawrence, a Christian lay brother of the 17th century, who lived in a Carmelite monastery in Paris. He was assigned kitchen duty and at first he dreaded it but then in his desire to serve God he found that every bit of straw he swept and every pot he washed became an act of love. Mundane tasks were suddenly more important to him than daily prayer time in the chapel.
I’m still thinking about this, days later. Could every one of my thoughts, words, and actions–from morning till night–become an act of love for God? What a life I would have. Hmmm! Can I do it? I want to.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (Colossians 3:23)
And while I’m at it, I could give my soul a good cleaning too.
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind (1 Peter 2:1).