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The Joy of Repetition

Craig Israelsen

Chesterton notes our low capacity for being able to deal with monotony and says in a
moving passage: "It is possible that God says every morning, `Do it again' to the sun; and
every evening, `Do it again' to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all
daisies alike; it may be that God makes all daisies separately, but has never got tired of
making them."
The divine delight in what seems to us to be mere repetition is one clue to the sublime
character of God. Since we must, at times, accept what appears to us to be routine,
repeated experiences, we too, if we try, can find fresh meaning and fresh joy in the
repeated experiences. God's course is one eternal round but it is not one monotonous
round. God is never bored, for one who has perfect love is never bored. There is always
so much to notice, so much to do, so many ways to help, so many possibilities to pursue.
Neal A. Maxwell, A More Excellent Way, pp. 84-85
Consider what a blessed condition it is if we choose to find meaning in repetitive tasks.
Our lives will be immersed in meaning. Doing the dishes, working on the budget, driving
a child to soccer practice, or preparing a meal can become something other than a
dreaded task. It represents a daily opportunity to serve someone else. Better yet, it might
be a way to work together with someone else maybe a child, a sibling, or spouse. And
in the process of doing together there is a natural but too often missed opportunity
to talk, to explore thoughts and concerns, to express feelings.
Conversely, consider what a tragedy it is to believe that life meaning occurs in the
spotlight moments. You see, thats all they are: moments. If that is where meaning
occurs, we wont experience very much of it because spotlight moments are fleeting for
most of us. Rather, meaning can and does occur in the mundane, the repetitive, the
commonplace events of life. The epicenter of meaningful day to day tasks is the home: a
laboratory of learning wherein we can become more like our heavenly parents by doing
what they are doing, though on a smaller scale. This is the ultimate reality of what we are
about, or in Jacobs words, things as they really are (Jacob 4:13)