Dirt, Work & Waiting

fall for blog dirt post


My husband and I spent the bulk of the day yesterday working around our house. He worked on it and I worked in it.

Our jobs were nothing alike. He labored to encase electrical wires in a tube on the side of our garage while I cleaned inside. I dusted, waxed, vacuumed, climbed step stools, washed windows, scrubbed toilets and did laundry.

It’s probably safe to say we both worked equally hard. And at the end of the day, we both felt like our day had been productive.

The blaring difference between our tasks however, is the obvious. His job will most likely last more than a week. He can walk away from his investment of time and energy with a different kind of satisfaction than I can. If he did the job well, it will probably never need to be done again. I have to say I envy that.

I honestly detest housework. If there was any way to eliminate it forever I would pay whatever price necessary to do it. Take away all the furniture – even make me walk through a sterilization chamber to get into the house – I would do it. At face value, cleaning house offers me no lasting satisfaction.

I often wonder what life would be like without dirt.

Dirt does however – even the cleaning the house kind of dirt – remind me of my mortality. Nothing we do is truly lasting. Even my husband’s job will one day be obsolete or forgotten.

Every day is a sacred gift and no task is menial or without purpose.

While visiting a skilled nursing facility the other day I overheard one women talking to another. They were reminiscing about the life they once had. They didn’t mention missing their jobs. They didn’t talk about their accomplishments or titles. They didn’t even miss their youthful bodies – they missed the ordinary tasks of life. They missed cleaning their houses. Imagine that.

When I consider the privilege God gave us to care for the soil of this planet, I’m humbled.

When I remember the large portion of the population who do not have homes to clean, I’m pricked with conviction for my own complaining. Dirt, even dust, reminds me who I am and where I come from.

Some days are filled with moments and projects that give us a sweet sense of accomplishment. But other less meaningful days feels as though we’ve done nothing more than remove a layer of dust no one even sees.

God has saved the dirt-free environment for our next home. His world will not simply be sterile and absent of the menial tasks we’ll regret leaving. Whatever substances his kingdom will consist of, I am certain it will be life producing and perspective generating, just like dirt does in this life.

God has a way of transforming our dirt into life-producing soil.

Work can become worship in the temple of our temporary while we wait for his invitation home.


Digging up an old post to link up with #TellHisStory today.

6 replies on “Dirt, Work & Waiting”

  1. Hi Pat:

    I enjoyed reading your message filled with much wisdom to which I can truly relate. You’re so “right on” that it’s not the task that matters so much as the attitude that is brought to that task. I always tried to bring the best of myself to any “job” that I did so that I was always proud upon completion. And, the less mental work involved, the greater the opportunity for incorporating a meditative quality into it. For example, I sometimes find that washing the dishes can bring calming relief to a rushed and mentally overstimulating day.

    I’ve let my email get the better of me, and just haven’t gotten around to answering it in a timely manner.
    So, God Bless, as I rush off to my yoga class. Love, Wandis

    1. Thanks for chiming in Wandis – it’s wonderful to hear from you. Yoga certainly beats doing dishes any day. Enjoy!!

  2. I so understand your feelings on housework! I have often wondered what is the purpose of continually cleaning and putting things in order for it only to become dusty, dirty and out of order….what a waste of time. I love your prospective “Every day is a sacred gift and no task is menial or without purpose.” Even though no one else may see what we do, we know God does and we are taking care of what He has given us. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    1. Kind of like Col 3:17 says, “Let every detail in our lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, thanking God every step of the way” The Message
      Thanks Toni, may God bless ‘every detail of your life’ today.

  3. Hi Pat, I enjoyed your blog as always. I love the way the Lord speaks to you through ordinary daily life experiences. More than hating housework, I detest a dirty house! I suppose your insight on DIRT, and the appreciation for even having a house to clean will give me the motivation to clean mine today! LOL, NOT a very fun way to spend my day off! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for the thankfulness I feel after reading them that I DO have a home to clean and I have one to look forward to which will NEVER need cleaning. How glorious that will be! NO MORE DIRT!

    1. Isn’t that the truth, Jeannie! I don’t even want to speculate about what will outline the golden streets of his city. I would imagine if God chooses to include dirt somehow – it won’t be something to contend with – it will be lovely dirt. What a thought that is.

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