Take, for example, the flea combing that I did on my dogs this morning. Yes, I should be doing it daily, especially now that we're full into the summer weather, but I can't bring myself to do it. So, I finally got around to doing it today. I tediously ran that tiny little comb over every inch of my 90-lb dog, pulling out loose hair, debris and yes, fleas. Then, not five minutes ago, I found him outside, rolling around in the grass, picking up yet more dirt and fleas. Growl!
Then there's the floor upkeep. During shedding season, I should certainly be running the broom over the floors daily, but you know me by now. I am not the world's best housekeeper. Not even close! So, it's probably been a couple of weeks since I last corralled the dust bunnies and vacuumed the rugs. Now that I've done it, there is definitely a difference, but I already see dog hair accumulating in the corners and loose grass from a certain 90-lb, yard-rolling canine marking a clear path from the back door to my office. Seriously?
After that, I did the dishes and wiped down the kitchen, knowing all the while that I'll be fixing dinner in a just a few hours and making another big mess that I'll have to clean up later. Honestly, what's the use? No wonder I put off these chores day after day. It seems like all that effort is in vain.
But what I'm discovering is that putting off the inevitable is not really helping at all. In fact, it only makes matters worse. It takes me three times as long to do each chore because I've allowed so much mess to accumulate. If I would keep up with the chores and do them on a regular basis (as I know I should), I would actually make things much easier on myself.
The same can be said of those little spiritual chores that must be done regularly. You know, those chores like paying attention to the thoughts that are spinning around in our heads, staying in a constant attitude of prayer, keeping our pride in check, denying our flesh, listening for God's voice and direction instead of plowing ahead with our own plans. Those things! Just like house chores, these tasks can seem tedious and pointless because they must be done over and over and over again, but if we allow them to accumulate, we're in for some serious hard work. Yes, the battles need to be fought daily, but each time we fight them, we gain strength for the next battle and learn how to better face the current foe. Plus, just like the house chores, I think we'll find that keeping on top of things will make each day a little easier. I don't have to conquer all of last week's chores today. They're done and gone. All I have to deal with today is today's tasks.
Hmm, I guess my parents were right. If we don't put off today's messes until tomorrow, life really does run smoother. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to fold some laundry, another one of those tasks that is never done.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. - I Corinthians 15:58