February 19, 2016

Drudgery or Glory?

When I was in Bible school as a grandmother, a few of the students ‘adopted’ me. One of them was Brook, a tall genius who loved life. One evening I had to go to the classroom area of the main building. It was almost dark inside, but Brook was there. His student duty was janitorial, but he didn’t see me come in. He was too busy mopping the floor and dancing with the mop at the same time.

Chambers uses a verse from Isaiah to describe the attitude of Brook toward an ordinary job that many people his age would have considered drudgery, or at least demeaning . . .

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1)

Chambers says, “Some people do a certain thing, and the way in which they do it hallows that thing for ever afterwards. It may be the most commonplace thing, but after we have seen them do it, it becomes different.”

He is right. He is talking about doing things in the fullness of God’s Spirit. When His glory shines on His people, even the ordinary becomes sacred.

As I remember that gangly young man and his long-handled partner, I also remember his spirituality. He loved the Lord and the Lord used him to bless others. Chambers says that when the Lord does a thing through us, He always transfigures it. Washing a floor is ordinary but it became a joy and a blessing because Jesus was in it.

Jesus, the God-man, came in human flesh and transfigured it. Because He lives in His people, He made us a temple of the Holy Ghost. For that, as Brook showed me, even washing floors can be worship.

If we arise and shine, even the meanest of chores can become transfigured. That makes drudgery a fine touchstone of character. When I have to do something that is not personally pleasing, how I do it is a test of whether or not I am spiritually real.

Jesus is the finest example. In John 13, He washed the dirty feet of His disciples and said, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.”

Most of my chores are not unpleasant, but by the amazing grace of God, even drudgery can shine with the glory of God upon it.

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