Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.
It has been rough at work the past several days. Charleston, South Carolina received an abundance of snow. There were many people that were unable to get to work due to the hazardous road conditions. There are several bridges where I live and most were shut down so commutes were almost impossible. The girls I work with were stranded at the assisted living community. People were tired and patience were running low especially by the middle of the second day. I, however, did not stay longer than my shift but I did end up working on one of my days off, which I find exhausting at times. I did not work long hours so I am not putting myself up there with my coworkers. I give them a huge pat on the back and a “ job well done” for hanging in and doing the best they could with what was handed to them. I also have to commend management because they stepped in and helped out where needed. Our business manager was in the kitchen, in the dining room and on the phones. Sales and Marketing cooked dinner and looked after staff and residents. Nursing cooked breakfast. Maintenance shoveled the walkways and parking lot. Our director put in extra hours to be sure the team was supported and encouraged. We truly pulled together to keep our residents fed and well-cared for.
As I type this, I’m pleased and proud of our senior community! It is truly a nice building to work in. Renovations are almost complete and it’s refreshing to have all things brand new. We are small in numbers which gives the place a family-like atmosphere, especially among the residents. They all, for the most part, know each other. They look after one another and if someone is missing they know and they want answers!
I can honestly say that the past three days (perhaps even longer) I’ve been miserable! I’ve grumbled and complained, felt stressed and depressed.
We are on day four of this “storm” and there is still ice and snow on the roads. This sort of “mess” is not something that this southern city experiences often. It is a chore to take the dog out for his daily walks (at least four times a day) for fear of doing back-flips on the ice. One evening I was on the phone to my friend while out walking the dog in the dark and nearly ended up on my back-side. Irritation immediately consumed me! My friend thought that I had been knocked unconscious because in my fight to stay upright, I had accidentally pushed the mute button so she could not hear my reassurances that I was okay.
In all of this frustration and craziness, I tend to revert to behaviors that I find defeating and dismal. I become joyless and I can’t seem to find a silver lining anywhere!
“If I can get through these three days then I can reconnect with God. I will be removed from my current dilemmas and escape into what God has for me. When I’m communicating with Him, my life doesn’t matter. The focus moves from my discomfort to Him.”
I couldn’t wait for my day off, which is today and tomorrow. And I was excited to be home because all I wanted to do was pray, read, and write. I was in great anticipation to spend time with Jesus. I missed Him and I missed our time together.
I am beginning to see an unhealthy pattern. I live a life that is split! On the days I work, I’m just trying to make it through the shift. I have a quick quiet time in the morning which sets me (somewhat) up to deal with the day. I try to remain focused on God but I find it difficult when my patience is tried, there is grumbling going on around me (including me), and coworkers are battling for one reason or another. I find I’m more earthly rather than godly. I’m not placing blame anywhere. This is my own doing. We are in control of how we tackle our day and what we choose to set our sights on.
Look what Joshua 24:15 says:
The people had to decide whether they would obey the Lord, who had proven His trustworthiness, or obey the local gods, which were only hand-made idols. It’s easy to slip into a quiet rebellion–going through life in your own way. But what will control you? The choice is yours. Will it be God, your own limited personality, or another imperfect substitute? Once you have chosen to be controlled by God’s Spirit, reaffirm your choice every day.
I will add this to my daily prayer!
I did make it through my three days of work!
I know this sounds ridiculous because there are those that really put in a full week of work (and sometimes more as in the case of my coworkers this past week) but I have to remind myself that we are each in our own daily walk and nobody can place themselves in another’s path. What God has for each of us is entirely different from what He has for another.
I couldn’t help coming home yesterday and just sitting and thinking. I felt drained and there wasn’t a lick of strength to do anything productive. As I sat in my own thoughts, I pictured myself doing “things” for God every second of every day. I grabbed my phone and researched jobs in ministry. I came across worship leaders, accounting, technical assistants and production. Nothing that I am qualified for. Nothing that really peaked my interests. I searched for local church employment and came up empty on that as well.
“If only I could get up in the morning and pray, read and write all day long! I want this to be my job. I don’t want to get up in the morning, shower, make my lunch and go to work. I want stay here!”
I became distraught over my “dilemma.” My mind went wild thinking of all the things that I could do for God. Disappointment set in, so I turned to my Bible in the hopes of finding inspiration!
It wasn’t until I sat down this morning that I really questioned who had the control in my life. Do I give control to God in one area and then hold on to the control in other areas? I often envision myself with one toe on the ground and the other parts of me heaven-bound. I get upset when I allow that toe to bring me back to old thoughts and routines. I guess I think that if I surround myself in the things that I know come from God then I will be free. I don’t believe the life of a Christian is that easy. We have to face life situations. We have to go to work, face struggles in our health, battle with others for one reason or another, lose a loved one, face crisis with our children, grow old…we can’t escape any of it. We are human for now!
We can switch our thoughts. In my devotion this morning, which came from, “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young she says this:
Ask My Spirit to control your mind so that you can think great thoughts of Me. Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered. Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark.
I have a job in ministry! It may not be what I am imagining but it is serving, caring, and loving the elderly. I envision it sometimes as a toe on the ground. Actually, lately, I’m consumed by this thought. I feel it slipping into the distance because it isn’t fulfilling me as it used to because I’m looking at what’s wrong instead of what I can do to bring in God’s glory.
I am a reflection of God’s Light. We are all a reflection of God’s Light!
I actually just learned of His “reflection” just the other day. I often pray each morning that I be a light to the people that I encounter throughout my day…that I be a blessing. I didn’t realize that I’m not the light nor will I ever be. God is the Light and I am His reflection. I’m going to diligently try to keep my focus on God while I’m at work. I will tune out what keeps my toe on the ground and look up to my Heavenly Father. I will walk in His Spirit, in this job, until He moves me elsewhere. I’m most certain He will. I feel a change about to happen and I’m excited. I need to be patient. I need to allow Him the time to work and transform so I’m ready and able.
I have the choice to reflect outward or I can retreat into my own dimness and imperfection.
We all have this choice and it is confirmed in Matthew 4:17
Becoming a follower of Christ means turning away from our self-centeredness and “self” control and turning our life over to Christ’s direction.
Not only sometimes but all the times!!