Habits + Disciplines

Fostering an Eternal Mindset in the Mundane

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One of the hardest things for us to do is take joy in or recognize the purpose of mundane repetitive tasks in life. Our life has personally felt pretty busy and mundane lately, so this is a very relevant topic for us.

This is especially true if you have young kids. Changing thousands of diapers, doing thousands of loads of laundry, doing thousands of dishes, etc…

It can be very easy for these tasks to become discouraging and for us to feel purposeless as we spend so much of our time doing them. We focus more on the tasks instead of having an eternal mindset.

So here are ways we can foster an eternal mindset in the mundane.

1. Remember the goal.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to pursuing faithfulness and living out the gospel is to remember what the purpose of life is: glorify God, enjoy Him forever, and make His name known.

Paul speaks to this idea time and time again. In 2 Timothy 2, Paul tells Timothy, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.”

Paul is telling Timothy to persevere in his ministry by giving three examples: a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer. All three persevere because they remember the end goal. The soldier’s goal is to please the one who enlisted him so he does not get sidetracked. The athlete’s goal is to win, so they compete by the rules. A farmer’s goal is to have food, so he works hard in the springtime, remembering his end goal. 

Now you might be thinking “The context of the passage is referring to ministry and perseverance, not to doing dishes” and you have a point! But we think you can apply this idea of remembering the goal to any area of life. There is truly a way to glorify (or not glorify God) in each of these mundane tasks.

Glorifying God

So you might be thinking “What is the goal”? To glorify God, enjoy Him forever, and make His name known. When you are doing mundane tasks, there is a way to do it that honors and glorifies God, and a way to do it that doesn’t. 

Beyond the cheesy “remember to glorify God,” remember that discipline builds character. The Bible talks time and time again about the importance of self-control and discipline. Ultimately, discipline will shape and mold us into more godly individuals. Discipline builds character.

Discipline leads to delight.

Additionally, what is heart attitude? Are you doing the dishes with a grumbling heart or joyfully? Are you grateful for the children whose diapers you are changing and the food that was eaten from the dishes you are cleaning? Your attitude shapes your perspective on life and how you view the circumstances around you.

What does this look like practically?

2. Reflect on God’s goodness.

Gratitude breeds contentment and ingratitude breeds discontentment.

We often think that we have to do mundane tasks, but the reality is we get to do them. 

You are alive and healthy enough to do them!

Ultimately, being able to do chores is a blessing.

One practical way to train yourself to be grateful is forcing yourself to say something you’re grateful for when you find yourself complaining about something like chores. Every time you do a mundane task you hate, have a mantra that you repeat before doing it. 

You can recognize that it’s hard and it sucks, but there is a difference between being dishonest and allowing yourself to be bitter and angry. 

My (Nathaniel) prior boss used to say “What’s the difference between a good day and a bad day? Your attitude.” If we genuinely seek to be grateful for the opportunity to complete our mundane tasks, it will make them a lot easier. 

3. Redeem the time.

Use those mundane moments for prayer, listening to a podcast, singing, listening to worship music, being still, etc…

That same boss we mentioned earlier uses different habitual actions as cues for specific prayers. When he would tie his tie, he prays for his family. On his drive to work, he prays for his coworkers and on the drive back home, he prays for his neighborhood and community.

There are so many apps now to help you redeem the time. The Dwell app will read Scripture to you. Or you could listen to an audiobook or sermon! Fill your house with worship music. Take time to be still and silent.

Use the time and resources you have to redeem the mundane tasks. This is a habit you can build! You may not notice a difference after one day, or even one week, but over time, these habits will begin to change your mindset and perspective.

One Degree Shift

Start small- take one mundane activity you do every day (maybe brushing your teeth) and utilize that time to pray!

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