I want a clean and tidy house.
But as I write that sentence, I am reminded of a theory I accept as truth.
Except in extreme cases which are out of our control, we usually manage to obtain what we want.
We buy a new coat. We pay someone to paint our living room. We learn a new skill.
The common factors in attaining what we want are these: a strong desire to have the thing plus the willingness to do what we must do to have it.
I desire a clean house, but often I am not willing to do what I must do to have it.
My plans for this day were to pick up and put away various displaced items; vacuum all carpets; mop my kitchen floor; and wash, dry, and put away a load of jeans. That sounds like a reasonable list of tasks to accomplish on a Saturday.
It is now 1:10 p.m. So far today I have:
- Slept late. (I had not been sleeping well and took a sleep aid last night.)
- Gone to visit my grandson and granddaughter.
- Written this blog post.
Nothing is wrong with doing those things, other than doing them prevented me from reaching the goals I had set.
I have the desire to see my boring and onerous to-do list accomplished but achieving that goal would have cost me extra sleep, a visit with my grandchildren, and time spent writing.
I elected not to pay the price required to have a clean house.
Tomorrow is Sunday, and the chance that I will choose to pick up, vacuum, mop, and do laundry then is slim. I will instead go to church, visit with my kids and grandkids, do some writing, and take a nap.
Unless I deliberately elect to do something else, those are the things I will automatically do. They are my default settings. I am often shocked to realize I’ve spent hours doing them when it seemed like mere minutes.
Cleaning, mopping, vacuuming, doing laundry, etc. are tasks I must take care of at some time and I will. When I absolutely must.
But I am not drawn toward those tasks. I will not look at a clock and realize I have spent three hours dusting shelves when I had no intention to dust shelves.
I challenge you to determine what your default settings are. Do your findings surprise you?
If, while taking this inventory you discover your true passions are cleaning, vacuuming, mopping, and doing laundry, get in touch with me immediately.
Visit www.upperroom.org on Friday, March 2, to read my newly published devotional based upon 1 Corinthians 2:12.