The second week of April was a check list week. A calendar filled with tasks that must be done.
Scheduling an imaging appointment made the list. My oncologist needs the results of a CT scan before my next follow-up.
Getting a blood draw required before the scan was also on the list. A lengthy process, it includes a half hour drive to my local hospital and a wait to register for the procedure before being sent to the lab. There is no lab draw appointments, therefore anyone with an appointment for imaging and other tests can be called to the registrar’s desk ahead of me.
And a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the second time in a week was added to the list. Online registration for the used pickup truck I just purchased was kicked back for some reason.
Yes, these chores have a purpose, but seeds of resentment began to sprout in my heart. They are the treadmill moments of life, thieves that steal time.
I am reminded of the list of chores I had to do when I was a child if I wanted my allowance. There was a chart on the wall with assignments for the week. Sometimes it was dusting furniture, other times vacuuming, but always there was doing the dinner dishes a couple nights. My siblings and I rotated through the tasks.
The most difficult for me were the dishes on a summer night when the sun set late so playtime melted into bedtime. I cherished the times my mom would take the dishrag from my hand, releasing me from my duties.
Words like duty sound harsh. According to merriam-webster.com the definition for this word is “Obligatory. Tasks, conduct, service, or functions that arise from one’s position (as in life or in a group).”
An obligation, something I must do and my flesh cries out.
My husband once brought to my attention my tendency to use the term “have to” when going over my schedule for the day. There’s a difference, he says, in having to do something and getting to do something.
So, I look once again at the things on my calendar. They seem like “have to” tasks, but do I have the right perspective?
The pickup was one of those great deals you just can’t miss being a blessing from the Lord. It was owned by an elderly person who didn’t drive it much so although it is an older model it has low mileage and is like new. I get to register my “new” truck.
The lab work and imaging appointment I have been completing every six months for three years now. This means, I will reach the milestone of three years cancer free. What a blessing to be cured of cancer!
I get to live in a day and time when there are tests to uncover cancer and treatments that eradicate the cells of many types. I get to follow-up to monitor my health and make sure the cancer is caught early should it return. And each day for three years I have lived cancer free.
My perspective shifts from a “have to” mentality to a “get to” mentality. Obligations can be the result of a blessing.
If you have been blessed with children, you are obligated to support them. If you have been blessed with a home, you are obligated to maintain it.
These are all things we get to do because of God’s love, goodness, kindness, provision, grace, and mercy. We can give thanks for these duties that arise from the positions God has given us in life. I am a cancer survivor and the owner of a “new” truck.
©2023 Susan Cort Johnson *All Rights Reserved
Image from StockSnap on Pixabay
1-What chores do you have to do? See if you might turn them from drudgery to joy by shifting them from “have to” to “get to.” Please share the results in the comment section!
2-Think of a few things that might be a duty because of your position in life or in a group. How might these obligations be a blessing?