Next time you feel like you’ve accomplished a lot in a day, check out Thomas Edison’s to-do list from January 3, 1888. Among his “things doing and to be done” are the following:
- Cotton picker
- New standard phonograph
- Hand turning phonograh
- Deaf apparatus
- Electrical piano
- New expansion pyromagnetic dynamo
- Artificial silk
- Phonographic clock
- Marine telegraphy
- Chalk battery
- Ink for blind
Daily discipleship is not a new revolution each morning or an agent of global transformation every evening; it’s a long obedience in the same direction.
His larger point is about the church, but I’m applying that (in a muddled way) to parenting. There’s not much fanfare and glory and praise in changing the fifth stinky diaper in 15 minutes or wiping up more crumbs or picking up the same toys for the umpteenth time. There’s no applause for cooking dinner night after night. There’s no spotlight for scaling the mountain of laundry every week. There’s no sudden global transformation that changes everything in an instant.
But look back in a few years and you’ll find that the faithful, daily plodding has added up not to just clean bottoms and clean floors, but to a life well-shepherded, a life ready to live on its own, a life that owes you everything, a life – dare we say it – transformed.
You may not have the immediate glory of a rock star or an inventor. But you’ll have your kids’ hearts and their lives, and that outweighs any 15 minutes of fame.
I gotta say, though, that ink for the blind sounds pretty cool.