by Rachel Latham
How long has it been since you hand-washed the dishes? Not the occasional dish, but I mean having the routine of daily filling the sink and hand-washing all of the dishes. Not lately? Me either.
Imagine this: in my grandmother’s day she would hand wash and dry the dishes several times a day. She hand stitched quilts. She did all of her mending and cooking from scratch. At various times she probably also hung the laundry outside to dry on a line.
So, throughout her day there were times when her hands were kept busy with work, yet it was quiet work that would allow time for thinking, praying or planning. In today’s lifestyle, we have eliminated many of those things that would have allowed us some mental downtime. We have saved ourselves some physical labor, but exchanged it for mental busyness. Social media, constant information, and a fast-paced expectation fill our time.We are reactive- constantly managing and juggling- just a beep or a ringtone away from the need to respond.
In our device-saving way of living, I wonder if we are missing out on the benefits of contemplative work- like hand washing the dishes, or mending clothes by hand, or stitching a quilt.
Taking downtime or resting feels nearly indulgent, and certainly it feels unproductive.
Contemplative work? I think it may be time to reconsider what could be gained.
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Copyright © 2014, Rachel Latham, all rights reserved, Printed with permission of author. Image from Pinterest.