Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Work it Out

My sweet son sat across from me at the dinner table and announced that he wished that he had as easy a day as I had.  After all, he knew that both of us were at home, sick.  He knew that there was a solid chunk of time that I spent laid out on the couch, silently willing this virus to release me.

He knew that there was another solid chunk of time that I spent sitting at the computer, something that I haven’t done in weeks for any length of time.

He thought that I had an easy day.

At that moment, I looked at my sweet son, at his innocence in thinking that mom had an easy day because I didn’t spend the whole of it doing the myriad of tasks that I normally do, and I kind of wanted to throttle him.

Because I had done a myriad of tasks, despite feeling lousy and just wanting to crawl into bed, which he had done for the bulk of the day.  Tasks that were invisible to him, but to me are necessary to the smooth running of this household.

I had done laundry, cooked, cleaned, straightened up.  I had made phone calls, maintained the calendar, shuttled our daughter to her after school activities, and made sure everyone had their homework done.  I had done plenty, and I was a little indignant that he didn’t even NOTICE.

In my open-mouthed, stunned silence, my husband stepped in.  How can you say that?  He asked our son.  Your mother works harder than anyone else in this house every single day, and she even does it when she’s sick.

Snapped out of my bewildered state, I looked at my husband, then again at my son.  I was vanquished, my reputation righted.  YEAH!  IN YOUR FACE!  the ugly part of me wanted to shout.

But I didn’t. I paused, and realized that I felt too lousy.  I was still sick, and I didn’t have the energy.  Plus, I didn’t want to make my son feel bad.  He’s only a kid, after all.  He doesn’t need to know all the details of my life.  For now, it’s okay that he thinks that because I laid on the couch for two hours today, that my day was an easy one.

In life, who really wants to hear about all the tasks that we complete?  If we do our work only to gain recognition from others, we will forever toil in vain.  No one cares quite like we do about the jobs we do.  We will never gain the admiration from others that our always-hungry egos desire.

God tells us that when we work, to work only for him.  When we give our work to God, whatever it is – folding clothes, digging ditches, painting a wall – he is glorified.  We can be sure that in God’s eyes, our work will never go overlooked, as it does so often here on earth.

Even by the sweetest of sons.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.  Colossians 3:23 (NLT)

A dairy maid can milk cows to the glory of God.  – Martin Luther

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