Our lives are made up of moments. Some large and glaring with significance. The day you graduated, chose a career path, walked down the aisle to say your wedding vows. Others, most others actually, are much smaller and slip by unnoticed by those passing by. We may not even recognize the moments, blazing through them as only a means to teach the next large moment. But if life is made up of moments, they must all be taken into consideration when moving towards wholeness. Even the chores.
Since moving out of the city, and away from the Taco Bell in walking distance to our home, I have found myself cooking, or at least assembling, three meals a day on a regular basis. I have loved the moments in the kitchen, trying new recipes and experimenting with meal planning. I have also noticed the dishwasher filling up far more rapidly than before. I am making frequent stops at the sink to keep up with the ever piling dishes.
We also left behind a 600 square foot condo and in it’s place now have a house nearly triple in size. As love as it is to have more space to live in and have others in, each extra square foot is another foot that has to be cleaned. Gone are the days of being able to vacuum the entire house without changing outlets once.
The chores that come with maintaining the home aren’t a dominating part of my daily life, but they are present to some degree every part of every day. These sudsy plates and cups, water splattered sinks, and laundry piles are part of what make up my life. And each day I have the choice to neglect these chores or tend to them.
I am by no means a world class housekeeper. I have tendencies to let bathrooms go uncleared and sheets unwashed for much longer than they should. But the more I consider the implications of an unkept house and the benefits of a well-cared for home the more I want to vanquish the mountain of laundry piled across the bedroom and take a rag and some polish to the dust-covered shelves.
You see, every time we put a clean mug away in the cabinet or sort a pile of clean socks we are creating order in our home. Cleanliness may not be next to godliness but orderliness certainly is. You can see it when you look at creation. There was nothing, a chasm of emptiness and a pit of silence. And then suddenly there was light. And stars. And grass. And emus. But not thrown about haphazardly as a child does with colors on an easel. It was done with precise order. And though the masterpiece of beauty flails to district it, the Maker continues to graciously bring order into the madness, cosmos to the chaos, peace and wholeness to the tumbled, upset world.
Well sure, you say. Maybe if I was creating an entire universe I might put more care into the order of it all. But what does it matter if the sink is perpetually overflowing and the floor is caked with crumbs? What difference does it make?
Perhaps it doesn’t make that much difference. But maybe it does.
The closer I walk with The Lord, the more I see the interest he takes in detail. Look at the leaves, the tiny birds, those miniature flowers. The world would have thrived without them, and yet He took the time to create them and place them precisely where He wanted them on this planet of magnitude.
We have not been given a planet to manage. But we have been given a home. Or perhaps someone’s rented out basement, a bedroom in a family home, a dorm room at school, or an office at work. The care with which we tend to it should and can reflect the care with which God tends to His creation. An orderly home reflects an orderly universe.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. Jesus clearly would rather have our hearts attentive to Him and His people than frantic to get every crumb swept and shelf dusted anyway. But to him who has been faithful in the little things will be entrusted with much more. Never undermine even the smallest task in the great call of making peace.