We have to do the work of the one who sent me while it is day. John 9:4
Think of a task you really dread. Maybe you even have more than one! Have you ever noticed how productive we can be doing many of the other things on our to-do list instead of the one we are trying to avoid? For me, one of the tasks I dread most is washing the blinds. Living on a gravel road, they gather a lot of dust and they have to be taken down, scrubbed, dried and re-hung…it takes forever and it’s a pain! When it’s done however, that is a terrific feeling. There are dozens of things I don’t really like to do, scrub the crisper drawer, sort the basket next to the phone where all the “stuff” seems to land and vacuum the stairs to name a few. It seems the same thing happens again and again…they appear on my to-do list and I do ten other things first. It’s like I just dance around them pretending they might just go away.
Someone e-mailed me a link to a little video clip called; Eat That Frog. This little you-tube video contained some great wisdom. The whole premise of the video was to look at all the tasks that had to be done and put the absolute worst or most dreaded task on your list first…and then do it first. It employed the idea that if you had to eat a live frog every day it would surely be the most awful thing you would have to do so if you do it first and get it over with the rest of your day would certainly be better. Procrastinating can rob us of our positive attitude and wear us out. It takes a lot of work and planning to re-arrange our whole day around the one thing we really don’t want to do…but if we did it first and moved on we’d have a much better day!
That sounds like a great idea but I’m still left with little motivation to do something I dread. Here is where an attitude shift can help. This is the stage where it might be a good idea to play a mental game of “follow the leader”. There was a fabulous man named Brother Lawrence who lived a simple and holy life working in a monetary kitchen. He was known for his ability to rejoice in everyday tasks embracing them as the perfect way to practice the presence of Christ. He believed that Christ met him wherever he was, doing whatever he was doing. It was as if Brother Lawrence knew with every task, Christ was there waiting, all he had to was ask Christ if he could join him. Now if I remembered Jesus was my blind scrubbing partner I might not dread the job so much! Another great example is Blessed Mother Teresa. She was cleaning the wounds of a dying man one day and the reporter following her for a story put down his equipment in disgust and said, “I wouldn’t do what you’re doing for a million dollars!” Mother smiled at him and said, “I wouldn’t do it for a million dollars either, but I’d do it for Jesus!”
There is grace in our obedience and submission. If we were to take our most dreaded tasks and “eat that frog” first with a spirit of love for Christ I think we would be changed. I think we need to remember that every task is our opportunity to practice the presence of Christ like Brother Lawrence. Labor Day weekend is the “finish up” weekend at our house. I need to finish all those “frogs” that didn’t get eaten yet this summer! I think I might try to snag a copy of Brother Lawrence’s book called Practicing the Presence of God and see if I can’t adjust my attitude toward the crisper drawer and the living room blinds!
A Seed To Plant: Make you to-do list and try eating the frog first while you ask Christ to meet you in your task!
Blessings on your day!
Copyright 2013 Sheri Wohlfert
About the Author
Sheri is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker and teacher. She uses her great sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Her roots are in Kansas but her home is in Michigan. The mission of her ministry is to encourage others to look at the simple ways we can all find God doing amazing things smack dab in the middle of the laundry, ball games, farm chores and the hundred other things we manage to cram into a day. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.