Saturday, March 4, 2023

 The Chore

When I was growing up, my older brother and I had to do ALL the chores in our home. It was he and I that had to feed the pigs and water the pigs and mow the lawn and wash the dishes and dry the dishes and put the dishes away and haul wood into the house to burn for heat.  My older brother and I were the ones who had to dig a 6ft x 8ft hole, 6 ft deep into the ground and then fill it with garbage…and then light it on fire.  My older brother and I did EVERYTHING! Our little brother and sister did NOTHING! I was pretty sure that my mom and dad didn’t do anything either.  When it came to laundry, house repairs, auto repairs, sweeping the floors, cooking, earning money and the other stuff that sometimes happens in a home…they just happened by themselves without anyone having to do them.  That is how it was in my home as I was growing up.

I remember telling my mom and dad at one point in my childhood, “I can’t wait to have kids of my own!”

“Oh really!? Why is that?” My mother asked.

“Because then I could make them do all the work like I do.”

My parents both laughed.

And they laughed.

And they laughed some more.

I have come to see that my perception and the reality were not aligned at that point in my life. I have come to see…that my older brother didn’t do anything either.

Now that I have children of my own, I too require them to do chores.  It is only fitting that I make them do all of the things that my parents made me do….except digging a large hole in the ground for burning garbage.  I am pretty sure that is illegal…and would be highly noticeable to the neighbors…and local law enforcement.  Any holes will have to be dug in the basement…under the cover of night. 

In my early parenting years, I differed from my own parents in that I attempted to divide all of these chores evenly among my children…as it seemed that that is what a good, highly-educated parent would do.  This is no longer the case.  I now assign jobs with whoever is nearest me, or who I see first or whoever has most recently upset me.

Like my own days as a child, my offspring also carry an aversion to chores.  Additionally, their perception about such chores is rock solid as a pogo stick in a rowboat. 

Just this morning I asked my son to do a job.  Not only was he the first child I saw, but he was also the one who stole my Snickers bar.  Upon the request of the task, you would have thought that I had asked him to dig a 6ft x 8ft hole 6 ft deep…with a teaspoon…in the basement of course.

“Ugh! Why do I always have to do it!?” He raged.

“Because you need more responsibility in your life!” I rebutted.

“My sisters do NOTHING around here!”

“I know…but you are the ONLY one I can trust with this job.”

“What!  That’s dumb…anyone can let the dog out to go potty.”

“Exactly!  See how simple it really is? Now stop acting like you need to climb Mount Everest, barefoot and without food and let the dog out.  It takes less than 60 seconds…I’ve timed it.”

He did it.  The dog did it.  It was over…until next time.

It astounds me how quickly we can lose sight of reality.  I am, likely, the guiltiest.  My perception of the events in my life can so easily become skewed.  It is at times like these in which I feel that everything in life is terrible and my world is collapsing around me.  Certainly there are some real sad and destructive events happening worldwide from, wars and famine and infanticide and violence and hate.  I believe that what God says is true…”the world is wearing out like a garment.”  Yet, there continues to be an ever present unchanging reality and that reality is that God is in control, He has a plan and He has a purpose…AND…He loves us more than we can ever imagine. 

Paul calls believers to the realities of life in 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10.  Paul wants the believers in Thessalonica to hold to the Truth…the Truth about God and to not be swayed by the perceptions of the world or the false perceptions that we often allow to misalign our thinking.

May we come to see the reality of God’s Truth!

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