Monday, July 11, 2011

Everything You Do

This year, our family's 4th of July week was spent in Chicago, working for the 10th time in as many years at Pacific Garden Mission, a homeless shelter.  After as many years as we have been attending, I guess I thought I had learned pretty much everything I needed to: appreciate my blessings (home, food, health, etc....), care for the needy, oppressed, sick, addicted, etc..., and work as a team with fellow believers to accomplish a goal. 

However, the Holy Spirit taught me a HUGE lesson I hadn't intended to learn, and he did so through a song and hundreds of beds needing to be made up.

Typically, our job at the mission consists of setting up tables for the overnight guests and program men and women to eat at, as well as serving the food, cleaning up after the meals, sweeping, mopping, chopping veggies, cooking, and anything else in the kitchen that will help the workers who are there every day.

dining room before the men and women arrived

favorite part of each day...serving the food

Our second day at the mission, however, Linds, Dad, and I were given a new job...take the bare matresses on a couple hundred bunk beds and put on sheets, blankets, and pillows.  Honestly, it was not my idea of a fun time.  The kitchen work is hard, but it is familiar and it involves interacting with others.  This was a much more solitary job, and add to it the fact that the top bunk was high enough I had to tiptoe, and the bottom bunch was low enough I had to hunch, and I was uncomfortable, hot, sweaty, and in a less than stellar mood.

After haphazardly flopping the sheets on a few beds, out of nowhere the lyrics to a Stephen Curtis Chapman song we heard on the way up courtesy of KLove popped into my head and convicted me immediately.

The chorus of the song says: 
"Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do"

I Corinthians 10:31 also came to mind: "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

I know I looked like an idiot in that bunk room, with tears in my eyes, whispering the lyrics to that song, but God needed to remind me that no matter whether I was making those beds for homeless men or the Queen of England, the point was to do it for God's glory, not to simply get through it.  For the rest of the morning, I tried my best to make each of those beds as attractive as I could for the men who would sleep in them that night. 

I am a very forgetful person sometimes when it comes to the lessons God tries to teach me, so I hope that this song will stay fresh in my mind for a long time.  Upon returning home, I wanted to keep in my heart the idea that no matter what I am doing, whether it is loading the dishwasher, ironing clothes, teaching my students, or playing with Connor, each task can give glory to God, no matter how simple, complex, exciting, or mundane it may be.  It doesn't matter who sees me or gives me a pat on the back for doing my best...all that matters is that I am trying to please Him in all that I do, even if it is something I am not particularly fond of doing.  I have been too often guilty of believing that much of what I do lacks meaning, but everything can have meaning if we choose do to it with purpose and a right attitude.

Feel free to remind me of this if you see me acting otherwise.  :)

I hope to post more soon about the mission, the people we worked with, what we did on our free time, etc..., but this had to come first.  I needed to remind myself what I learned last week.


pamjwilson said...

Wow. What a wonderful reminder. Thank you for sharing, Laura. This post is what o needed to hear before our days at KLN. I know going in with this attitude you've reminded me of,will make the days opportunities to search for Him and He will bless my time there.

Anne-Marie said...

Thank you for sharing this, Laura. I needed to hear this this morning. :) Shoot, I probably need to hear it every morning!