Monday, November 17, 2008

Consider The Alternative

If you've spent much time here you know that I'm all about finding joy in the journey. Where you're headed in this life, (or the life after this one) your destination, is important. But Christ didn't die for you and me just so we could reach our destination. He died that we might live, even now, and live abundantly.

When I look to my destination, I like what I see, and I want to be there soon. And as they say, time flies when your having fun. So, I try my best to have a blast, living abundantly as I journey to eternity. That's one reason I look for joy.

Another reason I'm hung up on joy hunting is, though life is short, it is too long to be miserable every day of it.

I'm going to tell you something now that doesn't sound joyful.

I HATE washing dishes!

So that's my word for today--hate.

Defined: v.--dislike intensely

Colloquially--dislike or be reluctant to do something

My favorite synonyms--be disinclined to, aversion

I am disinclined to stand at the sink, and make a soapy, soupy, slimy mess while sweating and cleaning the same dishes I've cleaned before. (Twice today, three times yesterday, and the day before and the day before that and...) You get my point? I guess I'm the kind of person that thinks life, because it is a journey, should move onward and upward. While I'm washing dishes my body is at a standstill and I have nothing to show for my efforts when I'm done. My mind can whiz along, but the tedious boredom of plate wiping is less than inspirational.

I have a theory. It's about hell. Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth happens over a sink of hot sudsy water and stacks and stacks of dirty dishes. I think hell has enough dirty dishes to keep the damned scrubbing for eternity. (the dishes used by the Groom, His bride, and all the guests at the great wedding feast) Be certain there is enough fire to keep the water good and hot, and the devil doesn't provide rubber gloves!

Repent now and be saved, or forever have dishpan-hands! And don't be expecting any little demons to offer to pick up a towel and dry either!

That's my theory. You don't have to agree, but just in case I'm correct, you might want to make sure you have things right with God now, because you never know when your table's gonna get cleared!

Back to my word--hate.

Like I said, I hate washing dishes. I hate other things too, like heavy traffic made up of crazy drivers, standing in a long check-out line, gum (or dog poo) on the bottom of my shoe, etc. Now I can easily leave it at that because, frankly, I like to hate gum on my shoe--I like to complain about standing in long lines--I love to despise traffic, and hating to wash dishes sits well with me. (And hating to do dishes means I hate hell, and that's good. Right?) But hating things, even things that are good and acceptable to hate, robs me of joy. So, when I find myself in the middle of a hate frenzy, here's what I try to do.

Consider the alternative.

Gum on the bottom of my shoe gives me joy when I think of the alternative--having no shoes and stepping in gum (or dog poo) with my bare feet. What about heavy traffic? The alternative is walking everywhere I go. That might be good for my figure but bad for my feet, especially if I had no shoes! I couldn't get far or do much in a day, so I can be glad about something when I'm bumper to bumper on Airport Blvd. Standing in long checkout lines has an up-side...humm...I'll have to get back to you on that one. And dirty dishes--

I'm thankful for dirty dishes for they have a tale to tell.

While other may go hungry, we are eating well.

So as Thanksgiving Day approaches, think about the things you love to hate, consider the alternative, and rejoice, be glad, and offer thanks to God for those things. Then, help someone else find joy in their journey. Leave your comments here about the things that you hate and the joy that you've found as you considered the alternative.


Cindy said...

You cracked me up here. I was laughing by the time I got to the end. I was just thinking about Thanksgiving yesterday. I am so glad that this year I know that I will not have to do all those dirty dishes when I die. As far as walking since it is a 7 hr. trip to my destination for Thanksgiving I am very glad for my car that breaks down a lot but it still gets me where I need to be most of the time even if it takes me an hour and a half to get out of town in sit and creep traffic. I do understand all that traffic so why do you think I stay at home and let those momma's bring all those cute babies to me so I can keep them. Anyway, I know that I have a lot to be joyful and Thankful for each and every day. Oh, and let me add one to this in reference back to a while ago. My husband is doing all my supper dishes for me tonight and letting me have the night off. He is so wonderful and I an very thankful for Him.

Talkin' Texan said...

I'm so glad you got a laugh here!
And what a picture of Christ--your hubby taking your place at the sink, so you don't have to. Isn't the husband supposed to represent Christ and the wife, the church? How beautiful!
What other "hates" do you have that can bring you joy? I'm interested.

Anonymous said...

This inspired me! I can remember doing dishes about 5 years ago in the very house in which I am now living. I went and did a quick count on one shelf and counted 104 plates. Multiply that by 24 shelves and you'll have about how many plates, cups, saucers, bowls, pitchers, etc. there are to wash. If left all to myself to do, it would have been hell indeed. However, I have rather fond memories of the laughter my daughters and I shared with the other 2 people helping us. By the way, I failed to mention the stemware and tea glasses. That took us another couple of days. We WILL be doing this yearly. A job to dread--or one enjoy--depending on the perspective and the companionship along the way. God grant me people to touch and people to touch me as we do the job!

Talkin' Texan said...

Honey, you've just given me another reason to rejoice. At the moment, I'm glad I'm in Alabama and you and your closets full of dishes are in Texas!! Like I said in my post, don't expect me, I mean, any little demons to pick up a towel and dry!! LOL
I hurt for you, but--not too many people have the "perks" you have becasue of your job and all those dishes. (Just think, you washed the fork that George Bush slobbered on!)

Brittney said...

Me I hate to dust. It just gets dusty again. I do want you to know that it is not as dusty here as in the panhandle or Kansas, but we do have all that wonderful pollen. I hate to dust, and not one person in my house will dust but me. I know I don't do that near as often as I should. The joy in dusting I have still not found....except that sometimes the lemon or orange scent that I buy does smell good. You are just going to have to help me find the joy in dusting.....The dishes...once I threw away a cookie sheet everyone in my family always used ( I didn't) It did not fit in the dishwasher and nobody but me would wash it. I just got to the point where I could not take it anymore and just threw the blasted thing away. ( Not one person has missed it). So the joy in getting rid of the things you hate ( if at all possible helps too). Laugh if you will, but it sure helped me.

Talkin' Texan said...

So you hate to dust the furniture, knick-knacks, etc. The alternative? If you were homeless and everything you owned fit in a grocery cart that you pused up and down the street, you wouldn't have to dust. Just my thoughts.
And about the cookie sheet--I don't blame you a bit! I did laugh but it was because you don't know how many time I want to throw
ALL my dishes away, just so I don't have to wash them!

Brittney said...

You do have a point. Without my house and "things" I would not be as comfortable as I now...and I would probably love to dust then. Thanks for your thoughts. ( I watched the Obama election video, I can, cannot believe how people are) I also see that you have a few more followers. Hope you are doing well.

Cindy said...

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back with you. This has been an interesting week. Here are a couple of things that I just doen right hate are learning to hate. I keep a little baby that has had 3 surgeries so far and the last one was on Monday of this week. I hate that so many little ones have to hurt in ways that most of us will never experience. The other thing that I have come to hate is: I was told some time ago that the Christian life is not easy. I am learning that this is so true. I hate the process of change that I am having to go thru right now. I do not like to change anything in life. I know that both of these will all be worth it in the end but the process is so very hard to go thru.

Talkin' Texan said...

I too hate it when I see little ones suffer. I don't understand the "why" of it. When considering the alternative, sometimes all I can do is be thankful that their suffering gives me an opportunity to pray. If not for their need, I might go about my day selfishly, forgetting to lift others up in prayer. Also it lets God be magnified in their healing. That is something that should bring us joy.
You are not alone in not liking change. Many of us hate change. But please consider the alternative here. What would we be like if God left us alone and did not continue to make us more like Christ each day? I'll let you in on a little secret--
I'm sure you know that if you hang around someone long enough, you start to act like them. (Don't believe me? Just watch your kids change when they get a new friend.) It happens with no effort on your part--you just can't help it. It happens slowly and you don't notice that you are changing. You simply look up one day and realize you are not the same person you once were. Change comes much easier when you focus your love, attention, time, worship, hope, admiration, and energies on Christ. Don't try to change yourself, just spend more time hanging out with Jesus and the change will happen. You won't notice it, but some day you will look up and find that the changes will have taken place.
Thanks for sharing your "hates" with us. Your transparancey will encourage someone else. May God bless you!

Cindy said...

Thank you so much.

Shonda said...

Wow--great analogy. It's a matter of perspective, isnt it? I like the little poem under the picture of the dirty dishes. If I may have permission, I make make a little sign to put above my sink using those words. Perhaps something you an make and market???

May you have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Thanksgiving.

Engrafted by His Grace-

sharilyn said...

as for me and my house (that would be me, myself, and i!) we are disinclined to dusting. vehemently so.
i was tortured by dusting far too many knick knacks of my parents, every rung of the bannister, and every rung of every dining room chair for far too many years. now i just say 'no'--to knickknacks and to dusting. being single i can (sort of) get away with it until the dust bunnies get so large i think they're going to drag me off to their secret garden somewhere... then i have to dust. or when i'm going to have company and i'm shamed into it. i even had a cat, whom i though could lie around on the flat surfaces and just "attract" the dust to herself and thus, keep the dust off my shelves, etc. but, no, she seemed to somehow help the bunnies grow! {sigh} i'm still looking for the positive side of dust.... : )

ktwalden said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind words. WOW...I love this post and your thoughts on considering the alternative! For the past year, I have been trying to say "Hallelujah Anyhow" when things are not going smoothly or circumstances change for the worst. With the Lord's help, this has dramatically changed my outlook on life and my relationship with God.

I HATE trying to keep up with the paperwork in our home business. I try to be organized, but there is always more to do than two hands can handle. Considering the alternative and the state of the economy, I feel blessed to have a job - period.

I look forward to reading more of your posts.