There’s probably a woman out there who loves folding laundry and scrubbing dirty dishes, and I am not that woman. I don’t naturally love cleaning and picking up every single day. With me, my two year old and my husband under one roof, our home gets messy in the blink of an eye. It sometimes feels as if the moment I finish vacuuming and picking up toys that there are already toys sprawled across a dirty floor.
Why do I even clean? I often grumble to myself. It’s just going to get messy in another minute.
While it’s true that the house will get messy every single day, the reason for cleaning and doing mundane tasks is greater than just having a spotless home. It all goes back to a little word in Colossians 3:17 and 23—"whatever".
In this passage in Colossians, Paul was writing to the church at Colossae and instructing them in the glorious ways of Christ. He begins the letter of Colossians laying out why Christ is worthy of all praise and then proceeds to tell them specific ways they could practically live for His glory. In chapter three, Paul gets specific and addresses the minds of believers and urges them to “put off” the old self and “put on” the new self in Christ. Literally, we should get dressed in the gospel each day and preach this awe-inspiring truth to our hearts: “Christ is all, and in all.” (Verse 11b) He goes on to add, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Ouch. Whatever? Did he really mean that?
“Whatever” includes everything. It includes doing the dishes (all day every day) and it includes picking up toys for the thousandth time. It includes folding countless loads of laundry every week and it includes vacuuming, grocery shopping, and doing any mundane task. That little word “whatever” not only redeems the time spent doing the mundane tasks of life, but it also gives us greater purpose and joy in doing them. If we look at daily chores as just that, chores, we will miss out on something glorious. We will miss out on knowing Jesus better through them. Worship isn’t just designated to Sunday morning church or your daily quiet time. Worship is adoring Jesus every moment of the day, including the moments we are doing tasks we don’t necessarily love to do.
Even the mundane moments of life have meaning and purpose. No task is exempt from the holy call of doing “whatever” for the glory of God. Jesus makes your “whatever” worthwhile. The unfiltered, blurry moments of life are often the most beautiful ones. His fingerprints are all over life. We just need eyes to see Him at work within us and all around us.
The key to finding joy and purpose in the mundane is to remember the call of “whatever” and to do it all for Jesus and with Him. Folding laundry becomes a beautiful act of worship when done for the glory of God. Scrubbing dishes is redeemed when we praise Him with every dish. If we truly learn to join Paul in this calling of “whatever”, we will learn what it means to live out the the glorious mystery that Christ is in us, with us, and all around us.
Remember that your Master is Jesus. He has redeemed your mundane moments and made them into something glorious. Whatever you are doing today, whether it be ironing shirts, folding laundry, cleaning, or chasing little ones; do it for Him. Jesus will meet you in your mundane moments. Faithfulness begins small, and even laundry can be the sweetest time of worship.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” —Colossians 3:23-24