Why is it that we women get most of the grubby jobs in the world? thought Janet, as she brushed a strand of hair into place with the back of her hand. I guess men have drudge duties, too, but it seems like women are the moilers and toilers of the world. A wry smile tugged at the corner of her mouth as she continued scrubbing the stove burner cups. Gritty scrubbing water dripped darkly into the sink from her elbow. The scrubbers of toilets and dirty floors are usually the women of any culture. Eve has a lot to answer for!
The screen door banged, and Janet looked up. Jimmy, her four-year-old, stood on the threshold. Filthy water dripped from his hair, down his face and clothes and onto the clean floor. And we're usually the scrubbers of grubby children, too! Janet thought. Thank goodness it is only good, clean mud!
"We was playing mud pies, and Willie threw his bucket of yucky water on my head!" Jimmy said, as tears began to wash clean tracks down his face.
Janet stripped off her rubber gloves and led Jimmy--generously bespattering the kitchen and hall floors--to the bathroom. Now I'll have a boy to bathe, floors to scrub and still the stove to finish. It seems like I just can't keep up with my house and family. She wiped Jimmy's face with a clean washcloth and turned on the tap in the bathtub.
Young mothers use buckets of elbow grease, huffing and puffing through their days--scrubbing, vacuuming, dusting, washing, cooking and doing dishes. Exhausted, they finally make their way to bed on plodding feet, only to wake up the next morning almost as tired as when they went to sleep.
Jesus had drudge duties, too. It couldn't have been a pleasure to walk the length of Israel and back again, to be tugged at and called for by all the sick and hungry ones in the country. Many times He knew that people only wanted what He could provide; they didn't particularly want to become His followers or His children.
One young lady said to her father, "Dad, there has to be some job out there that will be happiness to go to every day and a joy to work at all the time!" We've put so much emphasis on freedom and our right to happiness that we have begun to overlook duty and upholding our part in life. Those who insist on searching only for happiness rarely find it; they become disillusioned and drop out of life.
When Jesus wanted to teach His disciples humility, He took the basin, soap and towel himself and washed their feet. Washing guests' feet was usually a duty for the lowliest servant of a household. Washing feet that usually wore only sandals and walked the dusty and muddy trails of Israel could certainly be called a duty of drudgery. Jesus accepted this job as part of His work on earth. He didn't shirk His meeting with the demoniac in Gadara nor push away those who came to Him with putrid diseases.
Accepting the unpleasant duties of life and fulfilling them faithfully helps us to learn patience and find joy in small accomplishments. With a smile instead of a frown we can complete our duties of drudgery and even find a bit of energy left to do something fun with our family!