As a teenager, the go-to devotional song of young people of faith expressed:
Oh Lord, I need a mountain to climb on
Just a quiet place to go and know you’re there
Oh Lord I need to spend some time with you,
Spend some time with you, dear Lord, in prayer.
I sang that song with great conviction and the mental vision of Maria twirling in song at the beginning of the Sound of Music. A beautiful lush mountain plateau in the midst of the Alps.
Imagine my surprise that the mountain I most often scale looks more like this:
With the exception of grocery shopping, there is no chore I like less than laundry. More accurately, I don’t enjoy folding laundry. This fact means I don’t have to go far to find a mountain to climb on, most often there is a majestic peak rising in my den.
Sometimes, I think I want to over-romanticize discipleship. A mission trip to an exotic destination seems far more exciting than helping the needy in my neighborhood. The Northern Alps much more sublime than Mount Washmore. Lately, I’ve come to a very simple realization that shouldn’t be so hard for me to grasp. I asked for a mountain and God provided me with one. He is there waiting for me, just like I asked of Him. “This Mountain?” I ask with a tone of disappointment. And He gently says, “Yep.”
The thing about the Alps is, that while beautiful, they would require a lot of work to climb to the top. My laundry mountain, in comparison, is much easier. I allow the blessings of clothing and children to be my burden. Overcoming that mindset is part of the climb.
The most important part of my personal discipleship is the ministry that is my motherhood. I lose sight of that far too often. I forget the power of service in relationship to my children. That service often takes the form of folding laundry. Or going to the grocery. Or a hundred other acts we call housework, when instead they are more accurately Kingdom work.
Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.–CS Lewis
My children are my most important work. The work of my children includes climbing the mountain of clothes they wear. They are my mission. Through them I am given a lens that reveals God in ways I could only understand in this context. I don’t want to see them as work, even though they create work. I want to see them as mission. I want to see the mountain of clothes as part of my mission field. The mundane, everyday acts of service that serve as a response to the bounty of blessings represented by that pile. Each fold a prayer of thanksgiving, while each hanger the place where hope is secured. These acts build a unique closeness to my children. More importantly, when purposed in mission, the everyday climb up the mountain of laundry, cleaning bathrooms, and making dinner builds a unique connection to God. One where atop a mountain of laundry, His majesty sits, as unlikely a location as a manger for the Precious.
So, Lord, thank you for the mountain. Give me eyes to see the majesty of its pitch. May I climb it in the faith that You are there. May I seek You in the climbing. May its summit offer views of perspective.