October 23, 2017

Chores often get thrown into the category of worthless things one does to get to all the things that we want to do. They, indeed, are the things that are routinely done, task-focused, and usually offer no immediate reward. However, they are, even more, the things one does to get to the place one envisions. They are the routine tasks and tests of the willingness and desire to continue moving toward the fulfillment of visions.

Chores have a bad name, so to speak, because they have been relegated to the bin of things “lesser” folks do, or to the world of child development so they can learn adulthood. That constriction of the meaning of chores has been developed by the arrogant, the shallow, and the immature.

Three benefits and blessing of chores are as follows:

They test the willingness of a person to do what needs to be done to get a mission completed.

They are the steps one takes to arrive at a far-off destination. When I worked the wheat harvest years ago, we did maintenance on the combines and trucks every morning at 5:30 am to prepare to work all day. We started in Red Oak, Texas in early June and finished in a small town in South Dakota in the middle of August. Daily maintenance mattered a great deal to productively migrate from the harvest of Texas to the wheat fields of South Dakota. That maintenance mattered to a lot of hungry people.

They are heart checks to reveal whether a person has a true heart’s vision or mission, or just a good idea for which they are willing to actually do little to move towards it.

I have written five books during times when I was not at my actual job. I wrote them one word at a time, over long periods of time for a purpose. I want to do whatever I can to help people see who they are created to be, so they can do what they are created to do. Doing something for a purpose requires the daily work in the present to move towards what we hope for in the future. Chores become the heart check to see if one truly cares about the longed-for destination.

They are tests of stamina, the ability to persevere in the face of inevitable obstacles.

I live in Middle Tennessee. Underneath the dirt of this area, is a world of limestone. We always hit rocks whenever we dig ditches, plants trees, plow fields, or set up foundations to build anything. All over our county are rock fences. Those fences came from the fields where corn and wheat, alfalfa and sorghum flourish. They were picked up by hand in the early days, one rock at a time. Those fences are beautiful testimonies of perseverance—going after something that rocks could stop if people were not willing to press on, one rock at a time, one day at a time. They are built by sweat and strength, with an eye on a prize.

Chores are noble if one has a vision for a future, and the faith to take the next step. They are the routine work of people who are sure of what they hope for and certain of what they do not see. They are far from menial and worthless.