Are there household chores that you absolutely dread? I do a lot around the home. I donít mind being responsible for the dishes, brewing coffee in the morning, laundry, emptying the trash, recycling, sweeping the floor, and vacuuming. These things usually present little problem for me. However, there is one additional item on the list that I have a difficult time motivating myself to do. That is dusting.
I find the process of removing dust to be a big challenge. Most of my other chores are performed in specific areas of the home. For example, dishes are done with the kitchen. Dust, on the other hand, is found in every room and on every surface.
It is on the ceiling fans. It is on the floor and carpet. It is on the furniture. It is on the knickknacks that we have on shelves, tabletops and the piano. These small items require a gentle hand. One needs to use a soft cloth or small brush to get the job done right, and this process takes a lot of time.
I donít know why, but of all these things I do, I view dusting as more of an endless chore than the others.
Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, verses 19 and 20 reads: ďFor the fates of both men and beasts are the same: As one dies, so dies the other ó they all have the same breath. Man has no advantage over the animals, since everything is futile. All go to one place: All come from dust, and all return to dust.Ē
I view the author of Ecclesiastes as a gloomy pessimist. He sounds wounded by life, quite jaded and more than a little depressed.
If the writer of Ecclesiastes were to be a member of our household, he might never lift a finger to dust anything. I can imagine him tell me (using a voice like Eeyore of Winnie-the-Pooh fame), ďWhatís the use? It will just get dusty again, and everything eventually turns to dust anyway.Ē
While this does hold truth, in my view, an attitude of such futility should not go unchallenged. I would ask him to reconsider, get up, and contribute to the cause of keeping a household.
We are put on this earth to do things and not sit on the sidelines and let life pass us by. This would include some items that are laboriously unpleasant. Otherwise, we might just be collecting dust.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.