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The work ethic of drudgery
Well. We are one week and two days into summer vacation. My family has survived the insanity of Vacation Bible School at our local church last week. Its a 300 kid, 200 worker fest of crazy fun for five nights in a row the week after school gets out. This means that we take the end of school year push and double down.
As a direct result, my car looks a lot like a goodwill donation bin. Clothing changes and wadded up end of year school projects and fast food bags and inexplicably one Minnie Mouse pink sandle have taken up permanent residence. And that’s just the front seat. My if “I had a million dollars drop from the sky” dream is a self cleaning car. Or a budget to hire a butler to stand in my garage awaiting my return home to remind me to TAKE THE CRUD IN THE HOUSE! Probably I could program alarms on my phone and I could have Siri tell me to clean up. But let’s be honest. I’d ignore her. Or be out of phone battery.
I like to create new things. Its fun. I like to paint and write and think of new projects. Cleaning out my car is…..wait for it…..summer kid word…..boring. Its boring right up until its a massive crisis and then its sorta fun. Like a treasure hunt. I also get great satisfaction in taking it from complete mess to clean. But the daily taking my junk into the house and putting it away does not hit my radar. No adventure in that.
My ten-year-old has been taking piano since she was two. Seriously. We were those parents. My theory was that early piano led to good brain development and impressive reading and math skills. I did not factor in the misery of piano practice. While the big sister does in fact read like a speed train we have decided to let little sister wait until she’s five to start piano. It may also be the second child factor. Really its that I can’t hack dealing with two sessions of piano practice a day.
Another piano parent friend of ours told me that he makes his kids take piano just to learn how to tunnel through the drudgery of practice. It builds character. I love the word drudgery. Piano is fun AFTER you pracitice. When you know the songs and you can play to relax and think and entertain and worship. Drilling through scales not so much. But I think my friend may be right. It builds character. And those drills are what lead to the beauty. Or the adventure.
Clearly I need more practice.
I just finished reading a huge hearted, grace filled, crazy fun kind of book called Love Does by Bob Goff.
Bob’s day job is being an attorney chasing down faulty construction companies. His heart work is chasing down bad guys who traffic and abuse children in Uganda. His hobbies include sailing, skateboarding, sitting on Tom Sawyer’s Island in Disneyland and dating his wife. He also happens to love Jesus. I like this guy.
My husband and I spent the morning drinking coffee, eating Dutch pancakes and putting together a roof rack so we can properly adventure up and haul stuff this summer. At one point in our marriage we did not assemble things together well. We have had lots of practice since with IKEA furniture and we can generally handle assembly without fighting.
The instructions today had some life advice.
I smiled and thought how much better events go with a friend. And especially when I remember to treat my spouse as my friend in the building process.
My favorite quote in the Love Does book was about how pushing back on the dark works best in conjunction with friendship.
Organizations have programs. People have friends. Friends trump programs every time.
I like giving to a good non-profit or cheering on an underdog. But I will work to exhaustion and give sacrificially for a friend. I bet you do as well.
The key to really making a difference in the world is to make the underdogs your friends. It’s getting to know the people at the non-profit personally. It’s having fun in the process, getting dirty, dancing crazy and loving in action.
You know that idea you have? The one that won’t go away? The one that scares you? The one where you see you helping someone up or stopping a bully or hugging a hungry baby?
Can I be your friend in that? Go for it. Love does.