I often think of the myth of Sisyphus that I read about in school sometime years ago.
He was the man whom the Greek gods condemned to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to see it roll down when he reaches his top. He then has to trudge back to the bottom to do it all again. Every day for all of eternity.
I can’t remember what Sisyphus did that was so bad in the Greek legend, but I think of him when I do the laundry. The laundry is my boulder.
When (if) I get it completely washed, folded and put away, I feel like I’ve accomplished a major feat, only to open the laundry hamper to see it already full again. With clothes from the swimming pool, the playground, sports games, the park or elsewhere and with towels from the pool as well as from the kids’ three baths each night.
I know I’m not unique.
I also know that we can find Sisyphus anywhere, in the little things like dishes and laundry and in the big things like child rearing. We get up every day and do it all over again.
Philosopher Albert Camus once suggested that Sisyphus was smiling as he faced his momentous task again each day, and in doing so, he had beaten the gods.
“One must imagine Sisyphus happy,” he wrote.
I like that. I also like what the apostle Paul wrote to the early Christians once:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3 NKJV)
It’s hard to remember to smile in the nitty gritty daily grind of whatever my boulder is that day. I often have to remind myself to “count it all joy.”
But each day is a new day, and I am thankful for the chance to try again with my children, my family and friends whom I love. And with the laundry. And unpacking from our move a year ago. And the dishes. And the cleaning. And …
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning.(Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)