Slaying Dragons

13 12 2007

Here’s a thought I’ve never thinked before:

 I was having a little heart-to-heart with my eldest at bedtime on the subject of work.  “You need to attack your work with gusto,” I told him.  “If there were a dragon in your room that you had to fight, and you went up to him hanging your head and stomping and muttering ‘I hate to fight dragons.  I always have to fight the dragon.  This is boring and lousy and why do I have to do it?’ you wouldn’t get very far.”
        “How can I enjoy work when I hate it so much?” he protested.
        “I didn’t say you had to enjoy it.  I said you had to attack it.  Really go after it.  Because if you don’t, not only do you not feel good about your work, you end up feeling lousy about yourself, too.”  Which is true.  Sloppy work makes you feel crummy.
        After I kissed him goodnight and prayed for him, I kept pondering that thought while I picked up the kitchen.  Why does sloppy work make you feel bad about yourself? 
        Perhaps because when you whine and complain about doing something, you de-value it.  Then even if you do accomplish something, you don’t feel good about it.  Yeah, you slayed the dragon, but who wanted to slay the stupid thing, anyway?
         I always assumed the bible’s command to do everything without complaining or arguing was to spare the ears of those around you.  But perhaps it’s to spare your self-image, too.  Anything well done brings a certain satisfaction with it.  It makes sense that the reverse is true also.
          “Do everything as unto the Lord…”  Good advice.  It was one of those rare times when I felt like God provided me with something to say that penetrated right to Donal’s heart.  Unfortunately (ouch!) it penetrated mine, too.

I guess this means I have to stop complaining about housework. 

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One response

13 12 2007
Linda Miller

Seems to me you might have hit the dragon on the scale with Donal. Cleaning up the world isn’t exciting but we tend to sink into utter chaos without a touch now and then. I hate big cleaning jobs, expecialy since I’m working, and much prefer small quick bits to tackle. Perhaps helping him see that small jobs would be easier for him rather than ones made more difficult because it has just piled up. Your guys schooling, babysitting and house-showing with Neal in Goldsboro is more than anybody can bear, at least without a chance to blow off a little steam now and then. Hand in there, Wilhites, you’re going to get it done. Much, much love to all.
Grandma Miller

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