Monday, March 18, 2013

A box of tomatoes

Today Caedmon made such a tremendous mess that it nearly brought me to tears.

(Fortunately the mess was accidental as opposed to intentional, so we were able to focus solely on the mess instead of the mess plus the wrath of Mommy.)

Nevertheless, I was completely overwhelmed. A pan of powdery substance had fallen in our downstairs closet which is the home of all of our dumbbells, other workout paraphernalia, and quite a few oversized toys that won't fit on a shelf. The clean up would require every item to be removed from the closet, vacuumed, wiped down, and then returned. It was more than I was hoping to take on before homeschool ever began this morning!

As I sat there silently working (on the verge of tears, mind you) a story came to mind that I heard from Bill Hybels. He said that when he was growing up, his dad owned a fresh produce business and Bill worked for him. One hot summer day, an entire truck full tomatoes went bad. Rotten. Undeliverable to anyone. Bill's dad assigned him the job of getting rid of the tomatoes.

Bill was livid! He said to his dad, "That will take forever! How in the world am I going to get all those tomatoes off the truck?!"

His dad replied, "One box at a time."

And he did. He finished the insurmountable task one box at a time.

I think of that story often when there's a job that seems too big for me. Our minds have a way of making tasks seem larger than life so we might as well just give up before we even start. We think, "I have to buy that present, and deal with that medical bill, and take that by the post office, and finish my taxes, and send those emails, and on and on we go..." And it's too much. So I think I'd rather drape myself over the side of the couch and moan than attack that list. Oh, you've been there too?

Are you carrying a load that seems too heavy for you? Could it be that you're trying to transport too much at once? After all, that task of yours (& mine!) can get done by simply moving one box of tomatoes at a time.

And, FYI, that pan full of powdery stuff now has a new home. Out of the reach of children!

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