At this moment I have a pile of laundry about two feet high thrown all over my bed. The plan is simple: I literally can’t get into bed tonight until the pile is gone. I guess I could throw the clean clothes all over the floor and then go to bed anyway, but then I’d just wake up angry in the morning at the mess all over the rug.
I hate to wake up any angrier than I usually do, so I’ll fold these things that have been waiting in baskets all week. Even then, my laundry management techniques are pretty lax. I toss all the kids’ things into individual baskets so they can fold their own stuff, throw all the socks and underwear into piles–one for me, one for Eric– fold the towels in a less than precise fashion, and then hang what I can.
Repeat twice weekly.
When I was first married I lovingly folded each pair of underwear and rolled every pair of socks. It was my love for Eric that blinded me to the fact that this is a terrible waste of a life. Who cares if my socks are sorted and rolled? Who cares if the underwear is stacked in a military-precise fashion? Eric certainly wasn’t asking me to micromanage his underpinnings.
I realize now that life should be more than perfectly sorted socks.
I want my life to matter, I want my life to reflect the talents and gifts God has given me, and I want to live it to the fullest. I want an abundant life, and I’m pretty sure that happens somewhere outside the sock drawer.
Not that socks and laundry can’t be part of a larger picture. I know mothers for generations have slaved over the laundry pile because this is a way we care for our families. Clean clothing=I love you. It’s servanthood and love in one linen-scented stack, an endless procession of small things that eventually equals a life of Christ-likeness. I get that.
But I think sometimes we focus on the small things because we’re trying to distract ourselves from the abundant life God is really calling us to. While I gave up on laundry perfection around 2001, I’ve let a host of other things distract me in the intervening years. I’ve let jobs interfere with God’s plan (reference the Great Pumpkin Farm Debacle of 2010), I’ve let social media snatch away my time for priorities (reference every day since 2011), and I’ve let my own fear talk me out of responding in faith.
Just this week I’ve dithered and stalled, procrastinated and over scheduled. While I should have had my butt in a chair so I could start writing my next book proposal, I’ve focused on a myriad of tiny and insignificant details.
By the way, my dishes are done and I even rearranged the junk drawer this morning.
By the way, I still haven’t started that book proposal, which is key to the abundant life Jesus is calling me to.
I was made for more than junk drawers and socks. I was made to love others and communicate God’s love through the written word. You were made for more than petty distractions, my friend. You are more than your social media accounts and your Pinterest-worthy crafts. You have your very own abundant life waiting for you, if only you’ll focus on the One who wants to give it to you.
So, what is it? Do you know? What’s waiting for you on the other side of the sock pile?
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.~ Jesus (Matthew 10:10)