I like washing dishes. By hand. With lots and lots of hot soapy water. I don’t care if it’s just one plate, or a mountain of dishes with pans of slop.
I also like using the dishwasher, though. The organizational challenge is enjoyable. Sweeping is fun too, as is mopping. Dusting is loads of fun, as well as cobweb hunting. Polishing is fascinating, and toilet scrubbing is exciting.
Okay, I’ll stop there… though I could go on.
I didn’t use to like cleaning, or chores in general actually. I hated it, and did all I could to get out of it, even to the point of waging a three year war over dishes with my mother. That was the old life. I was lazy, sloppy, and lethargic when it came to work.
But the odd thing was… if you gave me a stick and a briar patch to clear, I’d labor with dedication and fervor for hours a day, even for weeks, until I was done. Just don’t call it a chore. Call it a fortress in construction. Hollowing out ‘houses’ in monstrous blackberry patches remained one of my favorite pastimes for the majority of my childhood. Building any kind of fortress, climbing trees, running my feet off, digging holes, lugging logs all over the place, making swings, all were dearly loved pastimes.
But they were all work. Hard, sweaty, grueling labor.
And I liked it.
Why not the others? It’s a mystery of human nature, I guess. It’s more complicated than I’m willing to ferret out. All I know is this: it wasn’t good, and I’ve changed.
I chose to be different, and through God’s Spirit working in me, I became a new person.
I am living proof that it is a choice. You can decide to enjoy practically anything, good or bad. It is a gift that God has given us, the ability to choose our desires.
We can choose to love Him. We can choose to love ourselves. We can choose to love work. We can choose to love chocolate. We can choose to love beans and peas and brussels sprouts and liver and all that delicious stuff.
Is it hard? Oh yes.
But God made us to do hard things. Life is not worth anything without challenge, without difficulty, without pain. Hardness is where we meet the grace of God… where we meet Him.
Honestly though, choosing to enjoy washing dishes once is relatively easy. At least compared to other hard things you could be doing. You don’t meet God much that way.
The real hard thing, though, the bit which makes all these little hard things become one great thing, is to change who you are to become someone who likes things.
Be the person who is content in whatever situation he is in. No matter how filthy, no matter how hard, no matter how ‘undesirable.’
Be the person who is willing to do the job no one else wants to… who is really willing, even eager.
You see, changing who you are is the greatest and hardest thing of all. Choosing to identify yourself in something you aren’t, crafting yourself, molding yourself into an image of something you want to be. That is what great men do.
That is what God does in you.
I challenge you then, mold yourself into the image of Christ by choosing to enjoy glorifying Him in the little hard things.