Something I’ve been pondering lately is cultivating one’s ability to find joy in the mundane, the seemingly unimportant tasks of life, and the quiet moments.
While doing the dishes the other days, I wanted to do instead, but I caught myself. Instead of focusing on the future and what I wasn’t doing, I pulled my mind back and started to really focus on what I was doing. I reminded myself of the family members who benefit from my simple task, and poured joy out into the soapy water while I stared out the window as the sunlight streamed in through the glass and danced across the water flowing across my hand.
I found beauty in that moment as I began to take pleasure in the mindless chore, instead of negativity. This idea, of finding joy in the mundane, was brought to my attention through a Korean show my language teacher asked me to watch for listening practice. The plot follows a woman in her late thirties/early forties who is coming back into the world of marketing after taking twelve years off to raise a family and—times have changed.
Although she used to be Seoul’s most sought after marketer, she’s not like the younger marketing applicants who are fresh out of college and well-versed in technology and social media, part of the reason no one will hire her. Finally, publishing company agrees to take a chance on her. However, instead of the high profile positions she is used to working, they make her an errand runner and she must prove to them that she is able to keep up, learn the new ways of the world, and work her way through the ranks.
Throughout sixteen episodes, the watcher follows her trials and tribulations, love and loss, and painful but needed growth as she humbles herself to the job at hand. Initially, she’s miffed that she has to run errands for people doing the job that she was the best at, but over time she makes a promise to herself to do everything cheerfully no matter if she thought it “unimportant” and becomes a very useful and needed part of the company which prompts her promotion through the various ranks from errand girl to the CEO of Marketing.
This show has ceased to leave my mind since watching it earlier last year, and I find myself meditating on it more these days as I seek to find joy in my day-to-day life and the Lord. I’m a planner, a type A workaholic, and I hate sitting still. I live Monday to Friday and Friday to Monday but I never really settle into the days in between. It’s always, “Get to Friday….get to Monday….get to Friday….” etc.
How often do we all do this? Do discard the small things in our lives as unimportant, get distracted by “bigger dreams”, get tired of the day-to-day routines that feel like they pull you nowhere? However, are they really unimportant?
When it comes to serving the Lord, no action or prayer is too small. All too often, I think we get caught up in grandiose ideas of how we should be serving the Lord. We need to go to Africa, start a ministry, and need a platform of thousands to have a truly great impact. There is nothing wrong with those things I just listed, and yes, some people are called there…but, I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about you, I’m talking about me.
Where has God placed you right now in life or do you know? For so long, I just kept going and going, I didn’t take breaks and I felt like resting was the equivalent of quitting. I strained to get ahead, planned to the point of being obsessive, and in looking back, missed a lot of opportunities to serve God in the life of my family and others because I was going 100 miles an hour on an open road at night, speeding towards a destination where I thought I could serve God best.
However, doing dishes, spending time laughing instead of working, wiping away the tears of a hurting friend, sitting in silence with someone grieving, taking care of yourself, doing household chores…they are all important, serve a purpose, and have a greater impact than you realize.
Proverbs 16:3 which says, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Keeping this verse in mind helps ground and realign myself with the things my Heavenly Father wants and desires….even if that may mean I feel like I’m doing nothing special.
Did you catch that?
The word feel?
Feelings are fickle, never based in truth, change on a whim, and have the lifespan of a butterfly. Just because whatever you are called to do feels anticlimactic, doesn’t mean it really is…remember that.
What are some things in your life right now that feel unimportant or that you don’t like doing? How can you work today to move forward with an attitude of gratitude and humble your heart towards the Lord and the plans He has for your life?