Pithy Post: Drudgery and All Its Benefits

I just finished reading one of the most exciting chapters in one of the most intriguing books I have ever laid eyes on.

The chapter: On taking useful notes

The book: A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate Turabian.

Ok, perhaps not the most exciting read. In fact, it was downright boring. But since I have started my Master of Theology degree and I’m starting to write major research papers, it’s necessary. As I trudged through the material, I couldn’t help but realize that what I was reading was important. And that makes it even more frustrating. Dull material is the stuff you want to skim. But if I did I would suffer for it later. If I don’t learn a good note taking system, I might accidentally misrepresent an important source or worse…plagiarize.

And, lest this blog start reading like A Manual for Writers, enough on note taking.

It strikes me that note taking takes discipline, as do so many important things in life. If you want to achieve soccer superstardom, you pound through rather mundane drills and conditioning to be in game shape. If you want a thriving marriage, sometimes you have to discipline yourself to do the dishes.

But sometimes we want to ditch the drills and go straight for the goals. We want to disregard the dishes and reach for the romance. In the end, we find out that we not only gave up the drudgery, but also the thriving that results from it.

The spiritual life of Christians is no different. We often want the “mountaintop” experiences with God without putting in the effort. But the spiritual practices that we sometimes have to discipline ourselves to do are actually the marinade that makes the meal so delicious.

And here’s the funny thing: If we discipline ourselves we might actually start to delight in our duties. For some weird reason, disciplined athletes actually begin to enjoy lifting weights (Oh, I vaguely remember those days). Sometimes, I even take pleasure in doing the dishes when I think of how happy my wife will be. Who knows, I may even enjoy taking notes on scholarly articles someday.

Those who discipline themselves to seek God often find joy in what once was drudgery. What once felt like slogging up a hill turns out to be climbing to the mountaintop.

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One Response to Pithy Post: Drudgery and All Its Benefits

  1. Kathleen says:

    Well said! Thank you for helping me think “down the road!.”

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