So today my son Eli and I shovelled again. And because the snow wasn’t deep or crusty, we did the whole driveway and then cleaned off and around our van in less than an hour.
But I admit, I didn’t particularly want to do it. It had sort of a “been there, done that” vibe to it. We’ve had a snowstorm or heavy snowfall most weekends since mid-January. For one of those, which happened on a Sunday night, Eli actually shovelled the driveway all by himself while I was on a Zoom call! When I went out and met him on the back deck, his exact words (said a little jokingly) were, “I’d better get paid for this!” He was.
Lesson one: Much of life involves doing the same mundane tasks over and over.
Whether it’s dishes, laundry, cleaning a toilet, or shovelling, you pretty much never just do it once. Life is a lot of ordinary. Sometimes it’s annoying but it’s always unavoidable.
The funny thing about shovelling today was that I put it off a little. That’s because part of me didn’t want that task occupying a significant chunk of my Saturday (note: we practice a Sabbath as a family from Friday to Saturday evening). Because shovelling is work. But like I said, it took Eli and I less than an hour. Not much of my day at all.
Lesson two: sometimes doing something you have to do (but would rather avoid) is easier than or not as bad as you thought it was going to be.
I don’t know how many times I’ve learned this. I finally get around to doing something I’ve been avoiding, precisely because of how much time and energy it was going to take, only to discover it took much less time than I anticipated. Even now there are things I’m avoiding for the same reason. Maybe I’ll come to see those tasks weren’t as bad as I feared.
I spend a lot of time with words. I prepare sermons. I blog. I read. A lot. Much of my time concerns figuring out what to say or what someone else is saying. Sometimes, therefore, I need to do something else.
Lesson three: sometimes our bodies and minds need to be active in different ways.
We can’t only hang out in front of a computer screen all the time. Nor can we always stay inside the house. If we’re able, we need to switch gears once in awhile. For instance, I’m currently exploring a possible hobby to pursue that would help me get out of my head, something that uses my brain in a different way.
Some of the above lessons might seem obvious, but we sometimes miss even the obvious in our everyday lives. We need reminding. Or at least I do. That’s true whether or not there’s snow that needs shovelling.