May 03, 2021

Laundry Folding

 Devotion for the Week...

If you ask anyone in my house, they will tell you I am pretty good about making sure our laundry gets washed and dried, but not good at all about making sure it gets folded. Loads tend to pile up and up until we have what I call Laundry Mountain. Last summer I decided there is no reason I have to be the only one who folds laundry, so I instituted laundry folding parties. Everyone is very excited about them, let me assure you. Truth be told, none of us enjoy folding the laundry or look forward to doing it, but we do always end up laughing while we fold things together. As a bonus for me, the job goes a lot faster with three or four helpers than it does when I'm doing it alone.

Last week I read about Moses trying to do all the work himself and it made me think of our laundry folding parties right away. Here is the story:

"The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.

When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, 'What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?'

Moses replied, 'Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.'

'This is not good!' Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. 'You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself'" (Exodus 18:13-18).

I find it interesting how Moses explained to Jethro what he was doing. You can almost hear his underlying feeling - 'I'm the only one who can do this job.' He was probably exhausted, but he couldn't see any other way to get the job done. The people needed their problems resolved, after all, and he was their leader. Wasn't that his responsibility? 

Jethro then proceeding to explain to Moses how to appoint others to be in charge of hearing disputes from smaller groups of people. They would handle the smaller, simpler problems and leave only the major cases to Moses (vv. 21-22). What a weight must have come off Moses' shoulders as he realized he didn't have to do this all by himself! In a tiny way, I can relate. Sure, I wasn't trying to do all the work of administering an entire nation of people (No thank you! One family's worth of work is plenty!), but I was doing more than I needed to be doing myself.

Are you in that situation now? Is there some job you find overwhelming, but you feel like you're the only one who can do it? If so, let me repeat Jethro's words, "This is not good! You're going to wear yourself out." Maybe you can't see how anyone else could help you, but if you ask a wise friend to help brainstorm solutions you might just find some relief.

The relief may not come immediately. Moses had to find and then train the other men who would take on the role of leaders, which may have even added to his workload in the short term. You may have to find and train the people who will help you. Once that is done, though, you will find breathing room again, which is certainly worth the effort. 
Finding ways to spread the work around can keep us from burning out |
Whether our work falls into the leading nations category or just the folding laundry category, finding ways to spread the work around can keep us from wearing ourselves out.


  1. Sharing the load is definitely the best way to get things done - maybe not always exactly the way you would have wanted, but it's done. Before the pandemic, I spent a lot of time at my daughter's house, helping her with tasks and keeping her boys occupied so that she could have just an hour of peace and quiet. She would tease me, telling me how many baskets of laundry she had saved up for me to fold - and I had fun with it! I just realized that I had put this principle to work then already! I pulled out all of the socks and made a pile for the littles (3 and 5 years old) - and I made a game of it - whoever could match and fold the most socks would win! Both boys got rewarded - and they LOVED playing my game! (If only someone had done that with MY kids!)

  2. There is so much in the NT about the Church being a united body of many members all functioning to serve one another. It's good to see the principle being demonstrated so clearly by Jethro and Moses. As a Church family we need to make sure no one is going to burn out because they are 'doing it alone'.

  3. Especially relevant as we start to emerge from this pandemic and many of us have been feeling overwhelmed. As we start being able to do more outside our home we need to keep this lesson in mind and maybe just decline or delegate a few tasks.
    Thank you for your devotional. As the worlds most famous carpenter would probably have said you hit the nail right in the head!

  4. Excellent word and reminder for us all!


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