Last night I rushed to the grocery store to pick up 5 needed items. I cruised around the market quickly placing the necessities in my shopping cart until I rounded the aisle near the iced tea display. A spill had occurred and two young men were mopping up the liquid, so I gingerly walked around the area.
The two employees were talking and while I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, I couldn’t help but overhear one of them say, “You know how I get through this job? I do the bare minimum. I get by with the least amount of work that is expected.” And I immediately felt very sad for this teenager.
It can’t be easy working in a grocery store: dealing with the public, keeping the place clean, making sure all the items are stocked correctly, that carts are available for everyone. Deliberate, mundane actions performed over and over again become tedious. Every job has this same pitfall.
But, the fellow was missing the bigger picture so I hope you don’t. I sometimes forget there is a hidden advantage in each minute of work. That is the ability to glorify God. That’s the real opportunity in every workplace.
Colossians 3:23 states: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” In every one of our chores, even the ones that frustrate and make us weary, our work becomes a gift to God and others. No matter what job you have, you can become a little blessing to others; a person who multiplies joy and through it makes the world a brighter place – even when you don’t feel like completing the task.
The daily grind makes this difficult, almost impossible. But we are called to be overcomers and we do that when we do everything with the love of God. We can let the hard things we must accomplish become holy things when we etch our work with love. We are put on this earth to make a difference, to give away what was freely given to us.
Unfortunately, that young man has a hard lesson to learn ahead of him. God did not create us to goof off, to be lazy, to just get by doing the bare minimum. He created us to serve. Our lives become significant when we minister to each other through our work, when we understand our labor is a holy endeavor. Serving others with untamed abandon refines our character, growing grace and wisdom in us. More importantly, we become reminders of the nails of service on the cross of Christ.