Thursday, July 23, 2015

How to Have a Life That Matters

I read quite a bit about work, creativity, and business. Over and over consistency and habit are touted as the secret weapons. It's not that you do amazing work every day. It's that you show up to do the work every day. 

You show up and write even if it's bad. You show up every morning to teach your kids even if you feel like pulling your hair out. You show up every day because you committed to the life God has given you. 

I know duty isn't a sexy word. It's not a buzz word everyone is throwing around. Adventure is. Fame is. But duty? Habit? Routine?  Nobody wants to talk about those. Those are the words, however boring they may sound, that build a solid life. 

This attitude carries over to all of life. Duty is what makes me clean up an accident again. Grace is what helps me do it with a good attitude.  Routine is what allows me to move seamlessly from one activity to another so that we accomplish our work and have fun. Habit is what makes me do the hard things; it's simply time to do them. 

Maybe duty means you show up on time or empty those trashcans even if it's "not your job." Habit allows you to move quickly through your email or finish a set of tasks. Routine enables you to get more done because you aren't spending your time deciding what to do next. 

Duty is what keeps me disciplining my children and lovingly teaching them when it seems to have no effect. Maybe I'm not sure it will ever help but I know that I've been called by God Himself. It's not a job I can pass off. It's not a job I can ignore. However unlovely it may seem at the time- and diapers, accidents, and still more dishes are often unlovely- the job is mine to do and do well. 

It's not how worthy we consider the activity. It's how worthy God is of our best effort. He didn't call us to a life of excitement, although life is often exciting. He didn't call us to a life of adventure, although the Christian life shines with adventure. God calls us to be faithful, to do our duty, just as Jesus did even when His duty led Him to the cross. 

Suddenly our work seems like no big deal, doesn't it? Perspective is always the issue. Do your duty. Show up every day. Show up to change the diapers, sweep the floor, empty the trashcans. Show up to input the data, answer the phone, count the money. 

Live out the less exciting words and you'll have a life that matters. 

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