Sunday, December 4, 2016

My Dishwasher

Daily Gratitude Year Four-Day 338: Today, I am grateful for my dishwasher.

Now, a dishwasher is a luxury item. Yes. A luxury. 

I don't need it. In fact, I didn't have one in our Peoria house. I don't mind washing dishes and have been accused of practically washing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.  It is true. 

One of the things I find disgusting is food that "bakes" on a plate in the dishwasher drying cycle (baked egg, yuck!) . So... I do put clean dishes in the dishwasher at times. Wash them, again.Then, I dread unloading it. 

It is one of my least favorite kitchen tasks. 

In this season of colds and other illness, the dishwasher becomes a team player in good health. I know my dishes are clean... really clean... when they come out. I am not freakish about germs, but common sense is always in style. I appreciate the ease of really clean glassware and mugs when someone in the house is sick. Utensils, too. 

There are times I dread unloading the dishwasher and putting dishes away. Like laundry - it feel like the clean dishes cycle is always in progress and never truly complete. What does this mean? It means, I not only have "enough", but an abundance of dishes, glassware, utensils and pans. My little kitchen is packed full of things I use all the time... but also, with things I only use on occasion. My dishwasher runneth over. 

Have you ever put something back in the dishwasher because you didn't want to deal with putting it away? Washed them again, instead of returning them to storage, just to empty the counter of stuff? Really? My hand is raised, because I have.

Emptying the diswasher does not cause brain injury or require special skills. Loading the dishwasher is a different story, but I don't mind moving things around in a loaded dishwasher. I prefer it over a sink of dirty dishes. Still, I can't really judge. I have been known to leave a cup where I finish it. ( Not on purpose. I am easily distracted.) The Love of my Life collects my mugs and brings them to the kitchen. Sometimes, he even refrains from commenting..   

Did you know Jesus referenced dish washing in Matthew 23?

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Matthew 23:25-26

Jesus is addressing the Scribes and Pharisees and he holds nothing back. They get quite a tongue lashing that is meant to redirect their behaviors. Mostly, it makes them want to kill him.He is calling them out on their priorities, their behaviors, their arrogance, their "do as I say not as I do" and their sense of entitlement. He is, also, declaring His own role as Rabbi and God as the only one to be addressed as "Father". (Matthew 23:9).  

The church leaders had come to believe in their own holiness and powers to make people clean and right before God, yet they reeked of their own sins. It was a very public "dressing down" as my Dad would have called it (an Army reference). Matthew 23 is not a feel good passage. It is a call to realignment with what God desires most of his people. 

God has always called "servant leaders". People not afraid to get in the trenches. God said..."I am with you.". Now, the truth is that he is holy, mighty, omnipotent and omniscient. But, I think the thing that brings me to my knees again and again is that he chooses to be omnipresent. "I am with you.". 

What a great theme for the Advent season. "I am with you.". I am with you in the sweetness and the sorrows. "I am with you." in lean times and plenty. "I am with you." in laughter and in hope. "I am with you." when everything seems to be falling apart. "I am with you." until the very end of the age. In that knowledge, there is peace. 

How do we find our way to the manger this busy season? Our God who came to be with us calls us to be His hands and His feet. We can share what we have and chose to have less to give more. We can share the load of another who is tired and worn out. Perhaps, we can come a little closer to the manger by unloading the dishwasher with a happy heart. 

The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12 

I woke up knowing it needed to be unloaded. I have things I would rather do, but I am going to choose... yes choose... joy in the process. Then, I will reflect and give thanks for the abundance and... knowing my dishes are clean. 

Today, I am grateful for my dishwasher and dishes... and food to make them dirty. 

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