Why I Wash Dishes Every Night
Disney movies lied to us. I’m still waiting for the scene where the animals show up, fold the laundry, and wash the dishes. Until such scene, I’ve made it a habit to do two things everyday to keep my life in order. I make the bed in the morning, and I wash the dishes at night. Everyone has different ways of maintaining their home. Different isn’t bad. It’s just different. Well, I mean unless you’re a hoarder, but that’s an entirely different blog post. For me, these two things have become a sort of sacred part in my daily routine. Making my bed is just the beginning of the day’s to do list. Check. It opens my mind to have an attitude of accomplishment for the day. Washing the dishes requires an effort I usually don’t want to give at the end of my day, but I don’t want to add to tomorrow’s list by leaving it undone, so even if it’s midnight, I muster up my last piece of ‘can’ and add suds to the sink. Yes, I hand wash dishes. I’m an elderly millennial.
Why do I call these things sacred? At the risk of sounding too ‘whatever we are calling it nowadays’, washing the dishes nightly helps me not to create a burden for tomorrow. If I tie this into how I live my spiritual life, how many times have I ended a day and withheld forgiveness, left repentance on the table, avoided a hard conversation with a friend or relative, and put off going to God for whatever I need in one day and wondered why I was spiritually overwhelmed, fatigued, and distant from God the next? How many times have I carried yesterday’s mess into a new day and expected that day’s new mercy to cover it?
A lesson the Lord has taught me over the last year is the importance of the scripture, "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry-” (Ephesians 4:26). Maturity, whether Christian or otherwise, involves knowing what to do with your stuff i.e. emotions. Why is this important for us as Christ followers? The very next verse tells us why, “and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:27). Just as unwashed dishes add to the next day’s to do list and are the perfect environment for fruit flies and ants, our emotions, sin, and lack of conflict resolution create a foothold for the enemy to keep us stuck in unhealthy and sometimes destructive cycles we could have avoided if we just dealt with the problem the day we noticed it coming into our lives. Thank God for His mercy and grace, but how heavy are our shoulders from carrying burdens they weren’t designed to bear when we are invited to go to God.
Whatever you’re dealing with today, whether it be a lingering something that’s piled up from putting if off or something that’s just happened today, I encourage you to go to the Lord…today. Don’t wait. Do the thing you really don’t want to do and free up your life to receive the fullness of God’s mercy. Give the forgiveness you’ve been withholding. Confess the sin that’s stifled your fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Embrace the truth of your God-given identity and reject the lies of the enemy. Close the door that’s allowed the enemy too much access to your freedom found in Christ. Our faith, just like the Word of God, is active and requires effort on our part to walk in healing, wholeness, and freedom. There’s just some things that won’t be done for you, friend. No magical animals and no magic wand. Can you commit to the work trusting that God will meet you there?