By Staci Eastin
We often say we need to get motivated. We need to get motivated to vacuum the floor or go to the grocery store. We need to get motivated to take care of that distasteful task our boss pushed off on us.
What we usually mean, though, is we need to find contentment.
We tend to dread those tasks we think are beneath us. We don’t have trouble finding motivation for things we do well or get praised for. It’s the difficult, messy projects we are reluctant to do.
In his book, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Puritan author Jeremiah Burroughs defines contentment as “that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition” (p. 19).
We are put on earth to bring glory to God, regardless of our circumstances. Most of us, if counseling a friend going through a trial, would tell her of God’s sovereignty and remind her of God’s ability to sustain her in difficult circumstances.
Somehow, though, when it comes to the everyday, we assume there has to be something more. Sure God is with us in the hard times–haven’t you read the book of Job? But is he still there in the boring and annoying?
No matter what our season of life or place on the earth, we were put here by a holy God. It is not an accident of fate that I have a pile of laundry waiting for me. The woman who feels stuck in a job she doesn’t like did not escape God’s notice. Even the most mundane, thankless task can be done to God’s glory.
That’s not to say we’re more holy if our lives are filled with drudgery. It also doesn’t mean it’s wrong to make changes that make our lives easier. But we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, learn to accept that we are in the place God wants us to be. We can choose to spend our time here grumbling and murmuring, or we can choose to submit to God.
I don’t think I’ll ever find great satisfaction in the mundane tasks. I will likely never celebrate having to scrub the kitchen floor. I can be thankful I have a kitchen floor to scrub, and I certainly am, but a part of me will always wish someone else could scrub it for me. Rather than trying to muster up gratitude for the task itself, I need to rest in the knowledge that I can glorify God by submitting to his good and perfect plan for me, even in the dull minutiae of life.
We often approach our tasks looking for some sort of tangible, earthly satisfaction. Often, though, that satisfaction will not be found on this earth. Instead we need to remember that all of our tasks, whether scrubbing the toilet or standing on a stage, were put in our path by a God who loves us, and submit the whole of our lives to him.
Staci Eastin is the author of The Organized Heart (Cruciform Press, 2011). She also blogs at Writing and Living and the group blog Out of the Ordinary. She and her husband Todd have been married since 1994 and are the parents of three children. Staci lives in Southeast Missouri. Follow her on Twitter at @WritingLiving
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