The Oasis - March 13, 2019

Author: Rev. Dan Hollis
March 13, 2019

     It’s not an uncommon sight at my house, the sight of dishes slowly but steadily accumulating. Many homes have excellent discipline surrounding dirty dishes, and as with many things the simplest solution is often the most effective: do the dishes after every meal. Problem solved. No unsightly accumulation, no silverware shortage.
     And I try, oh my God do I try, to keep in that habit. Always with the best of intentions. I strongly dislike doing dishes, especially for long periods of time, and it’s just so simple to do only a couple  of dishes and get them done with little muss or fuss and prevent future marathon cleaning sessions.
     And yet.
     I will get about a week into my good habits before it all starts to fall apart again. Maybe I’ve had a long, busy, heavy day and all I want to do is consume nourishment and I barely have the energy to put a meal together, let alone clean up afterward. Or maybe I ate a really huge  meal, and it hurts too much to breathe, let alone stand in front of the sink and do  things. Or maybe I have friends over and I’m not going to waste time cleaning up while they’re here, and once they’re gone all I want to do is sleep.
     A stitch in time saves nine and I know this… and yet.
     So the silverware accumulates in the sink, the plates and bowls begin to stack up on the counter, and I start to get creative on what I eat out of and off of, and just what can be used as a knife or fork.
     And then comes the moment, finally, where I actually have the time or the energy, and I turn on an audiobook or a podcast and buckle down to an hour’s worth of hard labor, cursing past-Dan all the while for his selfishness.
     And of course in the end the effort is greater than the sum of its parts, because as we all know food particulates can get real tenacious if left alone for a few days.
     So when I’m done typing this Oasis and I’ve sent it to the office for processing before it gets sent off to you, wherever you are… I’m going to go home and plant myself in front of the sink for a while. And I’m going to try, starting with dinner tonight, to do my dishes after every meal.
     And I’m going to do all right. And I’m going to fail from time to time. And I’m sure it won’t be too  long before I’m staring down another pile (well-organized, of course, but a pile nonetheless) of used dishes and have to get my act together all over again.
     But that’s life. We try to do better. We know we won’t be perfect. We know we’ll slip and tumble down the hill partway at some point. But we know we have it in ourselves to get back up and try to do better next time. To strive toward being that person we want to be. That person that has it all together. That person that gets it right the first try. That person who does their dishes after every meal.
      With God’s help, I’ll get it right more often than I get it wrong. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a pretty good start.

Song I’m listening to these days:  “What’s Up,” by 4 Non Blondes
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