It's the never-ending chore. It's the one thing that, unless we run around naked for a day, I can never FULLY complete. I can have all of the laundry washed, folded and put away, but as soon as someone gets undressed for the night, the dirty laundry that was there all along on his/her body now shows up in the once-empty laundry basket.
You know the drill. It's just always in process. And I'm not even talking about the 1 sock that didn't get thrown in or the dirty shirt underneath someone's bed. Laundry just can't be done...perfectly.
There's that word again.
Perfect must've come into existence once Adam and Eve decided God was indeed holding out on them by prohibiting the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden. What a rude awakening it was for them to realize that stepping past the No Trespassing sign meant taking on a burden of responsibility they/humans were never intended to endure.
Perfection is measured in right and wrong ways of doing things, a certain standard that sometimes feels quite arbitrary, but most definitely always whispers, even to the most perfect of us: "That wasn't quite good enough."
Perfection is never satisfied. It creates an atmosphere of unrest and discontent like little else will. It drives me to distraction and sometimes hopelessness because, after all, why even try if it's never going to be good enough.
Laundry is a good lesson for me, one being worked out within me even as I type and so I'm not fully able to articulate it yet. But it goes something like this: it is enough that the clothes are washed and dried. The fact that there are loads of clean laundry still sitting in baskets two weeks later isn't a big deal, nothing I need to strive to fix or beat myself up over.
Yet, I do. It's in the back of my mind all day long, and then when I go upstairs there are the baskets reminding me what a failure I am for not getting the laundry folded days ago. I mean, how hard can it be? goes the conversation in my head.
Perfection and shame are a split second apart. I think the correct order is shame whispers and perfection slides in on the whisper, closely followed by despair: will I ever get this laundry folded???
If I let them, the thoughts spiral on down to the complete irrational as perfection gets completely wrapped up in a basket of clean laundry.
And how on earth can a basket of clean laundry cause all of those negative emotions?
I don't know, exactly, but I'm going to let them surface and let the Lord teach me a better way.
So, while there are many legitimate reasons the laundry goes unfolded, today it may just go unfolded on purpose while I let God sort through these ways of thinking that need His healing touch.