“But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk,” - Luke 12:45, NRSV
No, this is not a whole thought, but I like the idea.
Sometimes, normal life can become burdensome. The act of doing a load of laundry can become equivalent to running a 5k. In these times, I have walked to the washer, stood in front of it staring it down, and turned around in defeat. It was just too much.
On my way back to the rock that I was planning to crawl back under, I passed the dishes that peaked out over the sink. They can be more dangerous than they look. Better leave it for a stronger moment.
Then, there is the weight of relationships. Perhaps, our friends would understand if we don’t want to call them right now, or next week. Being on the phone might waste time and energy. Apparently, I need all the energy that I can salvage if I am going to continue in a battle of will with household appliances. Don’t get me started about the grocery store, the bills, the taxes. These are further evidence of dangerous domestic forces.
And, the poor husband, I could just post a wedding picture and let him think of better days until I get my feet back under me.
This is what the slave in Luke 12:45 teaches me...when our eyes cannot find something more, something bigger, something God, we flounder. In this verse, it is eternal perspective. When we forget that we were built for eternity, minutia can take over our lives. The five minute chore becomes the two hour chore. Our prayers become unintelligible sputters and distracted niceties.
I know, I have been here.
I find it interesting that this slave gives two behavioral options when he loses sight of Christ’s return. He recklessly inflicts harm on others and he inflicts careless negligence on himself. This slave knows of the master. He is directed by a prudent manager and has been given everything he needs to do his work.
Still, this is his struggle. This is my struggle. I take my eye off of Christ and my world starts to swell up. Like inflatable pool toys, the washer becomes a stronghold. Who knows what could happen if I open that lid? Should I be trusted to pour the right amount of detergent onto those clothes?
The growing intensity of the unaccomplished can take over our lives.
I believe careless negligence starts from losing eternal perspective. We have work to do, and it does not belong to us. It is the work of the Father. It is valuable. It does not look like other people’s occupations. He might ask you to do less, but increase the intensity of your tasks. He might ask you to do more, forcing you to rely on those new mercies every morning to accomplish half of what your day needs to produce.
At the point which we neglect ourselves, like dominoes the things around us fall. One day we are kissing exercise good-bye, and the next we are piling newspapers next to the door hoping to take them to the recycling bin...someday. We are becoming reckless and soon we don’t feel like making coffee dates or laughing at our husbands’ jokes. Harm sets in and things start to fall off.
There are only two solutions that I have found. First, I have to come to God in prayer willing to be refreshed. I have to lay myself out in repentance. He delights in teaching me a new perspective, and gently restores eternity in my heart and in my head.
The second tool that I use for motivation is to talk to the woman I want to be. I stand in front of the washer and say, “What would she do?” She would fold the sheets when they came out of the dryer so I wouldn’t be looking at them next week. She would make that appointment now, so we don’t have to have the same conversation, again.
She would be more proactive, and rebuke this negligence with scripture. She would sit at the Father’s feet until He told her to get up. This internal guide works because the Spirit desires to grow us, sees our potential and delights in teaching us.
The choice becomes: I can slowly fall apart or I can be about the Father’s work.
I think that I will go do some laundry.