The Battle With Drudgery

Life can get pretty tiring, boring and disheartening when one has to go through the routine and the humdrum along with the usual daily chores. And whether housewife or career person, you feel tied down and just want to “get away from it all”. This poses a challenge to how we can live the Christian life joyously and meaningfully. Oswald Chambers gave some very insightful and uplifting thoughts on this issue in his articles in the collection, “My Utmost for His Highest” and we share some of these below:

Drudgery is one of the finest touchstones of character there is. Drudgery is work that is very far removed from anything to do with the ideal — the utterly mean, grubby things; and when we come in contact with them we know instantly whether or not we are spiritually real. In John 13 we see the Incarnate God doing the most desperate piece of drudgery, washing fishermen’s feet, and He says — “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” It requires the inspiration of God to go through drudgery with the light of God upon it.

We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing, that He is preparing and fitting us for some extraordinary thing by and by, but as we go on in grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, in the present minute. If we have God’s say-so behind us, the most amazing strength comes, and we learn to sing in the ordinary days and ways.

There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task. Routine is God’s way of saving us between our times of inspiration. Do not expect God always to give you His thrilling minutes, but learn to live in the domain of drudgery by the power of God.

After every time of exaltation we are brought down with a sudden rush into things as they are where it is neither beautiful nor poetic nor thrilling. The height of the mountain top is measured by the drab drudgery of the valley; but it is in the valley that we have to live for the glory of God. We see His glory on the mount, but we never live for His glory there. It is in the sphere of humiliation that we find our true worth to God, that is where our faithfulness is revealed. When you were on the mount, you could believe anything, but what about the time when you were up against the facts in the valley?

It requires the supernatural grace of God to live 24 hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God, but we have not. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes. It is one thing to go through a crisis grandly, but another thing to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, no one paying the remotest attention to us.