I did the dance of joy in the laundry aisle at HyVee the other day. What was the occasion? I found the ingredients for a make-your-own laundry detergent recipe. I am a devout do-it-yourself-er. I love to figure out how to make things, grow things & organize things. Okay, I love doing things with things! The Lord has given us a lot of things to work with. Some of it I do to save money. Some of it I do because I just like to.
I was delighting in my new financial prowess when I decided to calculate up how much money this new craft was going to save me. I haven’t measured out the exact yields I’m going to get from the boxes of supplies, but I’ve heard an estimate of 2 cents a load for this new laundry magic. Let’s see, cheap detergent (which I buy) is about 10 cents a load, and if I do 5 loads a week, that will save me about. . .$20.80 a year. $20 a year? That’s it? I’m totally deflated. Now, it will take me about two hours to make a year’s worth of laundry detergent, so that’s 10 bucks an hour, but somehow I expected it to come up to more.
I sank down into my prayer chair to wrestle this out with the Lord. Lord, I make my own bread, I grow my own vegetables, I’m going to make my own laundry detergent. Why do I want to do all this stuff? I hear his question on my heart: Does doing these things make you more worthy? I know the answer there. NO. My Sara Lee chomping friends are just as important to you, Lord, as I am. Next round: Does doing all this stuff make you less worthy? Ooh, a tough one. I’ve often wondered if I should be doing other things with my time. Planning intricate activities to do with my kids, perhaps. Being more creative with my homeschool curriculum. Maybe just sitting for hours in the Lord’s presence. But I still know the right answer. Umm, No, Lord, it doesn’t make me less worthy.
And so the Lord gently revealed to me that it’s good for me to do life this way because it’s the way He made my heart. It brings me joy to do things from scratch, and it blesses my family and those around me. I spent a lot of time thinking about the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30. The master gave each servant an amount of talents (actually a sum of money) to put to use during his absence. He didn’t tell them how to use it, and I’m sure that each of the faithful servants multiplied his talents in a unique way. The lazy servant buried his talent in the ground because he was afraid to use it, lest he lose it. In the end, he lost it anyway. So I feel encouraged to keep living out my do-it-yourself life with joy, as unto the Lord. And I smile to myself as I think that the lazy servant absolutely could not have been a gardener.