Friday, October 01, 2010


For the longest time, I didn't know the difference between chores and other jobs. It took a lot of reading history and historical fiction before I began to realize that there are different kinds of work. I thought any task was a "chore." But chores are the little, daily jobs that need to be done around a house or a farm. Feeding the cat is a chore; washing the windows is not. Washing the dishes is a chore; painting the fence is not. In our family, cleaning the bathroom is a chore; for most Americans it's a big job that is tackled once a week at best, or maybe once or twice a month.

I've begun to realize that we don't understand the importance of chores. We procrastinate. Even if we can intellectually explain "A stitch in time saves nine," too many people don't really know what it means. Cooking seems to me the quintessential chore, but remember the Once-a-Month Cooking craze? Even cooking was turned into a big job done infrequently.

Personally, I prefer to go to extremes (hence the name of my blog) and focus on one big project and then dive into a different big project. But there's something about daily-ness that is tremendously important. There is work to be accomplished each day, in little bits, to continually tend to the needs of the body, to persevere in "exercising dominion" over the spot God has given us, to serve the neighbor in the little daily needs he has. The dailiness of these chores also teaches us self-control. Avoiding that dailiness teaches us lessons about life that are not good.

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