Their greatest obstacle in the way of spiritual growth and transformed character
(J.R. Miller, "The Transfigured Life!" 1893)
Nothing helps more to develop the transfigured life in us, than work. Some people chafe because they have so much to do. Their days are filled from morning to night with dreary, monotonous task-work. With men it is the never-ending work of the farm, the office, the store, the shop, the mill. With women it is the thousand duties of the household, the care of the home, the tending of children, the weary chores of domestic life.
There are many people who think their greatest obstacle in the way of spiritual growth and transformed character — is in the drudgeries to which they are indentured by their condition. They imagine that if they could be freed from these and could have leisure for reading, for study, and for fellowship — then they would grow into far more radiant beauty of character.
But this is a mistaken impression. The only one perfect life the world has ever known, was not spent with a book — but with a hammer and a saw! The school of common taskwork, with its perpetual round of dreary duties — is the best place in the world in which to attain noble spiritual culture. There is no other way in which one's life will be so surely, so quickly transfigured — as in the faithful, cheerful doing of every-day tasks.
We need to remember that this world is not so much a place for doing things — as for developing character. Household life is not primarily a sphere for good cooking, tidy keeping of rooms, thorough sweeping and dusting, careful nursing and training of children, hospitable entertainment of friends, and the thousand things that must be done each day; it is a sphere for transforming women's souls into radiant beauty.
The shop, the mill, the factory, the store, the office, the farm — are not primarily places for making machines, selling goods, weaving cloths, building engines, and growing crops; they are, first of all, places for making men, building character, growing souls.
Right in the midst of what some people call drudgery — is the very best place to get the transformed, transfigured life! The doing of common tasks patiently, promptly, faithfully, cheerfully — makes the character beautiful and bright!