Saturday, in a rush to get everything done, I carried in my groceries and then took the laundry soap out to the cupboard above the washing machine. When I glanced around for the stepstool I use to store spare boxes of detergent on the upper shelf, I didn’t find it, so I left the soap sitting on the dryer. I’d be back a little later, I reasoned, and I’d put it away then.
Later, as I passed by the dryer on my way to something else, I bumped the machine and the box of detergent fell into the open washer. Making a mental note to come back and put the detergent away, I hurried on. The rest of the day passed in a blur, the box of detergent forgotten. My good intentions had vaporized.
Monday morning my daughter carried her laundry to the washer and sorted out her first load. When I passed by the appliance a little later, I thought it sounded funny, but the incident of the weekend had slipped from my memory. I wondered if the noise the machine made came from the load my daughter put there or if something mechanical needed attention. I stood there for several minutes trying to decide. Still, I didn’t remember the box of soap.
I needed to do laundry, too, so I went out to transfer my daughter’s load to the dryer. As I did, little chunks of white fell out of the clothes, littering the floor. What is that? I wondered. Picking up a glob, realization hit me. The forgotten box of detergent!
I hope you are laughing. As I pondered my predicament, I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry. I could have blamed my daughter for not checking the washer, but it was my mistake and I knew it. I shook out each piece of clothing, wiped out the washer and carried the soggy cardboard remains of the box to the garbage can. Half an hour later, I had picked off the cardboard sticking to each garment, shaken out the soap chunks, and returned the clothing to the washer for another washing. Wasted energy because of my good intentions.
God’s word is filled with references telling us to daily seek the Lord. When I searched the scriptures I was amazed at how many times God instructs us to daily tasks—worship, forgiveness, labors—the list is long. God knows each day is precious and we are only given so many.
In Ephesians 5:16 Paul writes: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Good intentions affect all of us. When a friend asks for prayer, we often nod, promising to remember them, only to hurry on without taking the time to write ourselves a reminder. That friend is counting on us, and if we forget, we fail them. My pastor says he stops and prays for each request right there so he won’t forget. That’s an example I need to follow.
My good intentions this time only cost me a box of soap. Next time eternal consequences may be on the line. I don’t want to be the one who doesn’t follow through on a God-given assignment.