Our dishwasher has been out for several months now, so the sink has been a more common spot to find me as of late.
It was an old dishwasher, and we could tell it was on it’s last leg. Still, we eeked every last bit of use out of it before finally accepting the fact that it was “done done.” I admit it… there was a little bit of grumbling when I realized the dishwasher was out, because it naturally means more work for me for a while until there’s room in the budget for a replacement. But what I’ve found instead of being a burden is that it’s actually been a blessing in disguise.
As I stand quietly with my hands busy in the warm, sudsy water (which is often interspersed with handing out cheerios or helping a little person run to the potty), it’s given me more time to process, to ponder, and to pray. The increase of dishes has meant the simplifying and slowing down of my sometimes frantic pace, reminding me that productivity isn’t my highest aim.
God has gently corrected my mindset yet again, that accomplishing two or three things in a day in joyful obedience to Him is *far* better than getting a thousand things done out of the motive of “self-satisfaction.” One reaps greater love for Jesus and contentment where He has put me. The other reaps discontentment and frustration because I’m looking to my accomplishments for satisfaction instead of Jesus.
It’s so easy to find my worth in accomplishments (or seeming accomplishments)–how clean my house is, how well-behaved my children are in church, if I checked off all the items on my to-do list, how well the dinner came out, how many loads of laundry got folded and put away. But when I subconsciously look to these things to give me my value, sooner or later (usually sooner) it falls short–I fall short. Because this is never where I was meant to find my worth. My worth is and has always been in Jesus. And when I do everything that I do from this standpoint, my whole perspective changes. My eyes are fixed on eternity rather than here and now. I’m not concerned about how my children’s behavior or the state of my home reflects on me. When I am doing all I’m doing out of love for Jesus, I can rest in the way a day goes, whether I accomplish a lot or there’s not much outward evidence to show for it.
Colossinas 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
I’m all-too guilty of having worked for the approval of men. I want to be seen as capable, efficient, productive, put-together, wise, and able to do it all. I don’t want people to see that I have flaws and limitations–that I’m still learning how to care for a home, that I fall short in training my children, that I sometimes let stress dictate my actions and attitudes rather than the Spirit of God. Why? Pride mostly. But the reality is, I need Jesus. Desperately. And, the other reality is that there is freedom in only truly caring about the opinion of One. When I am content to walk in loving obedience to Him, my productivity becomes truly productive; eternally productive.
Jesus is my righteousness and my contentment, not productivity. Jesus is my joy, not checking off all the things on my to-do list. And maybe today, obedience just looks like doing a sink-full (or four) of dishes.