It is a common assumption that rabbits have the ability to multiply faster than any other animal. I have absolutely no idea if this assumption can be back up by facts. However, I have found something that puts the multiplication skills of those big-eared lagomorphs to shame—–my laundry.
A few years ago, my wife went on a laundry strike. There weren’t any signs made or slogans shouted, but my lovely bride made it clear that she was done with doing laundry. Apparently doing all of the cooking, most of the cleaning, the majority of daily child-care (including refereeing, rear-end wiping, boo-boo kissing, and repairing the same broken toys 1,473 times), and being the household activity coordinator causes a person not to take kindly to continuously being asked if there are any clean clothes to be worn. After asking that question in the wrong tone of voice one too many times, I became the official “Doer of the Laundry” and jumped into my new chore with unbridled enthusiasm.
You may not know this, but there is not much difference between having unbridled enthusiasm and being ignorant.
I thought that doing the laundry would not be a difficult task. I thought that I would be a clothes sorting, clothes cleaning, clothes folding dynamo. I thought that my laundry efficiency would show my wife and the rest of the world that I was indeed domestically gifted.
Like so many times before and so many times since, my thoughts proved to be incorrect. Did you know that each load of completed laundry comes with three more waiting to be done? Were you aware that folding the laundry is considered part of doing the laundry? Did you know that socks disappear for months only to reappear at the strangest times, like right after you throw away the other sock in the pair?
While I have learned many lessons in doing the laundry, the most important lesson has nothing to do with doing the laundry. It has to do with what happens when the laundry doesn’t get done.
When the laundry doesn’t get done the earth does not cease to spin on its axis. Dirty clothes piling up around the washing machine is not an indicator of a fatal, hidden character flaw. “Thou shalt not get behind in doing the laundry” is not one of the Ten Commandments and you aren’t in danger of being cast into Hell simply for ignoring that basket full of dirty clothes over in the corner.
Never getting behind on doing the laundry may be a good goal, but there are other things far more important.
Loving Jesus and sharing that love with others is more important. Feeding your faith through prayer and Bible study is more important. Cultivating a better relationship with your spouse and children is more important. Seeking guidance from God on how to be the person He created you to be is more important.
Let the laundry pile up long enough for you to contemplate where you are going to spend eternity. Leave that remodeling project unfinished a little longer and say a prayer for a hurting friend. Wait another day to mow that grass and spend some time with your parents who aren’t getting any younger. Lay down that hammer and those nails and throw a ball or pick up a doll with your little kids who soon won’t be so little anymore. Those dirty dishes in the sink aren’t going anywhere, but your time to do the most important things is quickly going away.
Filling our schedules with more and more things to do can cause our lives to be empty of those things that are far more important. I am not suggesting that people should stop doing their laundry or mowing their lawns. What I am suggesting is that we not get too aggravated at ourselves or others if there are delays in accomplishing tasks which can wait while goals with greater significance are pursued.
Jesus is important. Family is significant. Friends need encouragement. The laundry can wait.