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Part of the joy of hard work is accomplishing tasks and checking off our to-do list. And it becomes very frustrating to feel like our efforts are never enough and that there’s always something more expected of us. But, while wisdom and perspective are needed, this is one of the messy realities of life.

It has been said a stable stays clean without oxen, but a strong ox brings a large harvest. If we want life and goodness the ox brings, then we must deal with the constant dirty and mundane chores that comes with it. And this is true for the rest of life as well.

For instance, whether at work, at home, or even in our own efforts of personal growth, rarely are the tasks before us once and done. This would certainly make things easier if it was the case. But more often than not there’s always something else required of us.

To be sure, this can feel overwhelming and like we’re constantly behind. And certainly there’s a place to rest and embrace the wisdom of that’s enough for now. But learning to rest and take a day off is not expecting life to always remain neat and orderly.

We’re not blowing it when our wife keeps asking for more, the chores around the house seem never ending, or our kids constantly have some problem we’re called to deal with. These are just the messy realities of life that we learn to accept. And like cleaning up after an ox, these are not pleasant tasks, but a necessary part of doing life with others and living to the full.

We shortchange the depth and richness available when we don’t accept the back end cost of the good life.

In the end, be kind to yourself and take breaks as needed. But remember the good life also requires you to shovel many unpleasant realities. 

Photo by Duncan McNab on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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