“How hard it is,” you say, “that so much of one’s time is taken up with things that must be done — and yet none of them seem worth doing!”
Ah, that is not a new difficulty, dear! The hermits of the East stumbled over it, and the monks of the West; and many a one who has not left, like them, the every-day life of the world — has groaned under it, as if there were guilt in the weight as well as care.
One thing, however, we are sure of — that all which God sends to any human soul must have its meaning. There is nothing, however trivial, which He cannot make a means of grace. It is for us to take it as such — or to scorn it. There is blessing wrapped for us in every lowly duty, and if we despise its homely dress, then the loss and the responsibility are our own.
“But mine are such common duties,” you say, “helping in the house, or sewing for the children. It’s all such material work.” I think I have been learning, lately, that we may not call anything common which God has cleansed; and has not His consecrating touch fallen on all home-toil and care, material though it may appear, since Jesus lived in the workshop at Nazareth? He counts nothing unclean, nothing unworthy of Him, but sin. His love in the heart will purify everything it touches. It has transmuting power enough to change the dross of the common street, into the fine gold of the sanctuary. And so the “base things of the world, and things which are despised” become, when laid on the altar which sanctifies the gift, things which God has chosen.”
Hetty Bowman, Thoughts on the Christian Life; or, Leaves from Letters, 1872