Thursday, November 16, 2006

Simple pleasures


Most of the days I fold laundry without thinking about it and just admire the pile of folded terry and linen. But today the laundry took my mind occupied more than usual. Someone watching would just see me flipping the sheets around and coming up with a neat fold. But the ability to do that has been honed over a number of years of folding laundry and especially the last few years of working in a motel.

It is a simple pleasure for me in turning 25 lbs of sheets fresh out of the dryer into a neat pile. Many days I finish folding one load, turn around to pull the next load out of the dryer and find that the pile is disappearing with a housekeeper. It’s still a worthwhile activity. It is easier for the housekeepers to carry a load of folded than unfolded.

I could complain about how my work doesn’t seem to last. I could say that there’s no need to fold the sheets until I know the housekeepers won’t be taking them away. I could grow frustrated as there’s sometimes no end in sight of dirty laundry and I don’t get to see the finished piles at the end of the day. Yet that misses the point of doing a good job.

What I do is not for me and just for myself. It is for the motel. And when I work it is not for my glory but for the glory of God. I do the best job that I can, not because it will bring material rewards, but because I am a steward of God’s creation.

Folding laundry, like many other tasks in life, is something that can be boring. But it is also an opportunity – an opportunity to serve God, an opportunity to do good work, an opportunity to take pleasure in the way things can be put together, an opportunity to relax and think. There are some tasks that I’m not as sanguine about the opportunities, but I suspect that if you’re like me there are some tasks about which I’ve complained in which I could find some simple pleasures.

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