Are you a planner? An organizer? Someone who likes things to fit into neat boxes? I like to plan and organize as much as I can. I find if I can keep things as orderly as possible, life proceeds a bit more smoothly. I’ll make mental lists of chores to do for the day – I’ll add memos to my phone, write sticky notes to remind myself of “things to do” for the day. Unfortunately, when I resort to using sticky notes I forget that I’ve written them until days later.
One of the things in life that needs to be done regularly is laundry. There’s no panic quite like the panic of needing school uniforms only to find they are all dirty, or for a preacher to wake up on a Sunday morning only to find that there are no shirts for him to wear! Then the manic digging through the laundry hamper begins – trying to find a shirt that isn’t “that dirty.”
I’ve seen shirts pulled from the laundry, sniffed and sprayed with deodorant and declared fit for use. The image of this ever happening on my watch as main caretaker of our laundry makes me shudder. When I was first married, my mother drilled it into my mind that the state of my family’s laundry was a direct reflection on my character. Now, I know that’s not true, that my people are capable to figure out their own laundry, but somehow I can’t seem to accept that truth at my core. I’m the “laundry police” and am almost obsessed with clean laundry.
This mentality of mine, for clean laundry, has been further drilled into me living here in Africa. With the ever-present threat of water shortages, I take care of getting the laundry done as often as possible because it is likely that at least one day in the week the water will be turned off.
To keep things flowing at the “laundry level” it means there’s a price to be paid! Laundry has to be washed regularly. But, it’s bound to happen, that the odd, unforeseen emergency pops up. Maybe the water won’t go off but something else is bound to complicate the process. What to do when the baby dirties each and every bib in the house or the dog messes on the folded laundry or the children track mud everywhere? We pay the price and get the laundry done if it means we stay up til midnight so that life can carry on tomorrow.
Psalm 68:19 ESV “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.”
I’d like to think that when the unforeseen happens, our Father helps us step up and get things done that need doing.
In this New Year, as we prepare to end our 21 day fast tomorrow and set our faith in alignment with the will of God for us this year, we need to keep in mind that just like the laundry – the unexpected will happen. It’s very easy after an intense and amazing season with the Lord to forget that on the other side of this time, there will be tests and trials of the vision God gave to us during this fast.
This year’s wash is bound to have a few unexpected dirty t-shirts. The Father’s there to bear us up when He needs to. He has all that we need to help us not get behind with the laundry, we don’t have to do this alone.