The past couple days have been full of deeply tedious and fruitless tasks. By that I mostly mean sitting on the phone for three hours (this is not an exaggeration) with Verizon desperately trying to get our Internet fixed. Yes, Automatic Voice Woman, I have unplugged everything and waited and plugged it back in, and no it didn’t work. And no, I can’t go online to run a diagnostic… because the Internet doesn’t work, remember? And no, I can’t be available from 7am to 7pm on a week-day because, um, we have jobs so we can pay for the patchy Internet that doesn’t work.
But other than the above—the definition of a First World Problem, I know – we have been doing taxes, changing my name on more official stuff, running errands, and generally doing the mundane everyday stuff that isn’t fun but kind of has to be done.
If you get around on the internet much, you have probable read a lot of inspirational stuff that encourages us to live boldly and do what scares us. Do what scares you, do what has you living boldly and wildly, if you aren’t taking risks you aren’t living. I’m not bashing these messages because they are good and inspirational. If everyone only chose what was safe, we would miss out on so much that is good. We need people who are living with abandon and courage.
But sometimes I just want to see some artsy slogans (you know, the chalkboard type that are so cool right now) that say things like “Today, choose personal responsibility,” or “There’s no shame in investing in security,” or how about “Be prudent.” Because you know what is really scary? Living ordinary life well. Paying bills. Scrubbing the mold out of the tiles in the bathroom. Going to a job you hate because others depend on it. Taking care of yourself, your family, and investing in your future. No one applauds you for it because no one really notices it.
I know that I say all this, but I still have it so easy. I feel so blessed to be in a position where I can do something I love, but even so, there is so much daily drudgery that comes with adult life wears me down. I can’t even imagine how much more wearisome things will be someday when we have kids, a house, multiple schedules, aging parents, etc. After our weekend of so much frustration and boring responsibility, I read these words this morning and loved them:
“Drudgery is one of the finest tests to determine the genuineness of our character. Drudgery is work that is far removed from anything we think of as ideal work. It is the utterly hard, menial, tiresome, and dirty work. And when we experience it, our spirituality is instantly tested and we will know whether or not we are spiritually genuine… The inspiration of God is required if drudgery is to shine with the light of God upon it. In some cases the way a person does a task makes that work sanctified and holy forever.” -Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest
Here’s to holy drudgery, assuming responsibility, and living ordinary life well. Here’s to being genuine.
*Note on the image: A couple hours after posting this, I opened my email to see a message from my baby bro (who is ABOUT TO GRADUATE COLLEGE which is just crazy) that just had that in it. That’s why he’s awesome.