Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise. —  Prov. 6:6

 What a mess!  We had had to move into our new home several weeks early, and extensive remodeling was still underway.  Our walls looked like they had had major surgery, and plaster dust covered floors, furniture and boxes.

“I can’t take anymore,” I wailed as I flopped into a chair.  A small cloud of dust rose around me.  “Lord, I just can’t cope!”

As if to comfort me, Dusty, our new and obviously-named kitten, reached out to pat me with one black paw.  She left a white paw print on my jeans, climbed into my lap and began to lick her paws clean.  “You could sweep,” her accusing eyes seemed to say.

“Sweep?” I asked her. “With all those rooms still left to sand, what good would that do?” Dusty merely went on licking. With a sign, I admitted to myself that sweeping would at least stop the endless tracking from room to room. And it would give me something to do.

Seizing a broom I furiously swept not only dust, but my own frustrations into a pile and dumped them into a bag.  And as room after room emerged fresher and cleaner, I began to see other things I could do.  I could wash slipcovers.  I could move the furniture into rooms that were already sanded, and protect it behind closed doors.  I could put down mats, and insist that people wipe their feet.

Gradually the house began to look more homey.  I dug out candlesticks and candles, and found that candlelight dining not only lifted our spirits, but also hid the ugly walls.

Since that time, whenever a project seems overwhelming, I remind myself to find some tiny chore, some little thing I can grab hold of and do.  And inevitably that one chore leads to others that finally lead to a solution to my immediate problem.

So, if you are finding it hard to cope with some problem today, don’t just sit there.  You can sweep!

Dear Lord, save me from the inertia that comes from self-pity.

Patricia Sprinkle


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