I listened to a podcast this afternoon as I cooked dinner that featured the best advice people had ever received.
The one piece of advice that stood out to me was given to a young mother with 4 children. She said that she spends the bulk of her day doing things that will be undone: feeding children who will get hungry again, washing clothes that will soon be dirty, cleaning up toys that will be on the floor tomorrow. The best advice someone gave her was to do one thing each day that cannot be undone.
She writes in a journal, or paints one wall in her home, or does one other long-lasting thing each day, grounding her life with meaning and permanence.
I really liked this idea.
I thought about the many ways I could concretize (is that a word? I don’t think so.) my days into something with permanence. I could write more on the blog. I could do things that make my largely invisible existence more visible. I could finish painting the fourth wall in my dining room.
Moses’ prayer in Psalm 90 came to mind: “establish for us the work of our hands.” I could definitely (and might) choose to do one thing each day that can’t be undone. It sounds like a fun thing to add to my list of things to do. But mostly I think I will pray that God’s grace (Moses prays that God’s favor would rest on his people directly before asking for the establishing of the work of their hands) would make the largely unseen and mostly undo-able work I do each day count for something permanent.
In the lives of those I love and in the humility I learn, establish for me the work of my hands.