Ora et Labora – The Discipline of the Mundane

“Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.”

–Proverbs 24:27

We loathe the mundane. We’d much rather be off doing something more exciting, something more meaningful. Doing laundry, homework, dishes, yardwork, cooking and cleaning seems so underwhelming. What would happen if we let all the monotonous tasks go, if we didn’t fulfill our daily responsibilities? Chaos sets in. We see it all around us, people addicted to adrenalin, neglecting the tasks and people at their fingertips. I’m talking to myself here. If I neglect the laundry or dishes or daily task of picking up the apartment because I’d rather read or spend time in other places with other people, I suffocate from clutter. Stress invades. Conflict arises.

  • If we daily neglect acts of love and service to our loved ones, death invades our relationships.
  • If we daily neglect our work it catches up to us. We get a bad grade, bad review or get fired.
  • If we daily neglect caring for our bodies, we lose teeth, gain weight and contribute to the onset of disease.
  • If we daily neglect to intentionally remember the poor, oppressed, orphans, and widows, we develop a lifetime habit of ignoring them. We live for ourselves. And Jesus says we’ll go to hell (Matthew 25).
  • If we daily neglect caring for creation, we’ll make it uninhabitable.

I wonder how often governments that ignore fingertip tasks have stirred up conflict?

There is a spiritual discipline involved in fulfilling the mundane tasks set before us. When we fulfill our daily assignments we do our part to hold the world together. When we fail to, we add to its dissolution.

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