“Why must I waste time washing dishes when I could be leading a Bible study?” We categorize our work as either secular or spiritual. However, our thoughts do not match God’s thoughts regarding the mundane. God made man to work—to do mundane tasks. God intended Adam and Eve to care for the garden, to bear children, and to rule over God’s creation. Many of our mundane tasks today spring from God’s original mandates and are therefore valuable in His sight.
Bathe the children. Cook three square meals. Weed the garden. Repair the fence. Beat back the vines of the encroaching jungle. Unclog the outhouse. Patch the hole in the roof. Help the neighbors. Such was the life of missionary Mary Slessor. Far from the conveniences of her homeland, this Scottish woman found the mundane chores of daily life in Nigeria consuming her time. Is your life similarly filled with repetitive, mind-numbing tasks? Do you feel there is little value in the mundane?
Daily Monotony vs. Spikes of Excitement
As a child listening to missionary stories, I never saw this side of Mary Slessor. Yes, Slessor saved infants from being murdered. She rescued slaves and battered women. She calmly knitted while armed chiefs raged at one another. Most importantly, she introduced the gospel to areas few missionaries dared to go. However, biographies often leave out the boring parts of everyday life. They must, or you wouldn’t keep reading!
In her correspondence, Slessor candidly reported the mundane tasks that consumed most of her days. Summing up, she wrote, “So, you see, life here, as at home, is just a record of small duties which occupy the time, and task the strength without much to show for it.” Years passed, and her work remained a mostly domestic affair with no churches planted in her region and few converts to report.