Duties With Meaning2
Life's mundane tasks are rarely celebrated and are called “duties." What is it about that word that conjures up fatigue at best or disdain at worst? Does even thinking of the word duty produce anticipation or blah?
Webster defines duty as that which a person owes to another; something to which a person is bound, by any natural, moral or legal obligation, to pay, do or perform.
If duties are things we “owe” — and we view “owing” someone as something we are obligated to pay whether we like it or not — then no wonder “duty” can be a weight or obligation. But what if we view our duties through the lens of the gospel and biblical truth? What if duties are privileges we are given the joy of extending? What if the laws of love to which we are scripturally “bound” aren’t something to pay as if we are buying down a debt, but something we can JOYFULLY do as Christians who “owe no man anything save love”? If our duties are energized by love for those in our lives, rooted in the gospel where we find the greatest act of undeserved love found in human history, then as His image bearers we can “dutifully” serve and lay down our lives out of LOVE for God and them!
Ok; so I’m letting you in on thoughts that have been churning over and over in my mind…
Whether our days are full of diapering or deal-making; training a toddler or toting a briefcase; managing a boss's calendar or helping a kid with homework — our worlds have more in common than they have differences. As Christians, we have each been called by God to a unique sphere of responsibility. And many of our tasks are mundane. Responding to emails. Making coffee for a board meeting. Washing another load of towels. Rinsing dishes a child or a co-worker didn't take care of. Playing another round of Candy Land. Emptying the trash without Mom or your boss asking.
The question I'm asking myself is this: do I value the mundane or do I think "somebody else should be doing this, not me?"
In short, I can serve my family or my co-workers or my church with joy -- even when I’m inconvenienced and have to set aside what I wanted or hoped to do -- because I am bearing the image of the One whose life was primarily much like mine: the mundane and ho-hum life of a faithful son, brother, friend, and carpenter until the voice from heaven said, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.”
Why was God pleased with His son? He hadn’t yet raised anyone from the dead, fed thousands or healed a single leper. He had worked as a carpenter and had been a loving son and sibling. Day in and day out.
So can we willingly transfer the laundry from the washer to the dryer; offer to help a co-worker with something rather than check facebook…again; stop to thank a child or employee or spouse for something they should do anyway; or get dinner started while we talk on the phone to a hurting friend — and then fall into bed at night knowing our life that day was well pleasing to God?
I find it so much easier to fall asleep feeling the day was productive when I did something "important."