Reading World Magazine this morning, I was challenged by Joni Erickson Tada. She’s fighting another battle, against breast cancer this time, in one campaign of the war. Though people want to pray for healing, she tells us she wants to be set free from her laziness and sloth.
Do I want to be set free from my laziness and sloth? Do I pray for that freedom from sin more earnestly than I seek a few quiet minutes on the couch? When I despair over laziness and sloth in my children, do I see how closely tied their sin is to my own?
When I’ve asked Sam to hang his shirts in his closet, it requires not just my asking, but thirty seconds of my time to walk in and check the closet, and maybe another minute to send him in to finish the job. Ally knows she washes all the breakfast dishes, but sometimes they’re still in the sink at lunch. It takes not only her diligence, but my own to get the job done. I’ve grown a bit in grace and now I labor to see character formed in my children. Still, I need diligence to hang all the clothes in my own closet, and wash every dinner dish in the sink. I need diligence to not just begin, but to finish every job.
Today I need to pray to be set free from my sins of sloth and laziness. I need to pray I scrub the toilets, which really is my chore for today. And fold the laundry, finding it all put away at the end of the day, because I ought to every day. I need to pray I take time to play on the floor with Arden and not be anxious to play on my own. I need to pray I take time to check written papers, and hear about history readings. I need to pray I make dinner, and do it well, though cold cereal sounds so much easier. I need to pray I leave time at the end of the day to read the Bible. I need all the diligence Christ can form in me, to do my job as homemaker and mother, and do it well. I want to be like Jesus, and He did all things well (Mark 7:37).
I don’t know how to root out sin, except by prayer, except in Christ. The measure of a good day shouldn’t be found in the fun I had, or the things I bought, but in quiet, unnoticed obedience. And now, I need to get up and live it.