Have you ever been asked to do a job no one else wanted to do? Did you feel like you were stuck because the person asking you was your boss and you knew you couldn’t just say no … so you grudgingly, painstakingly, slowly performed the job all the while grumbling under your breath … and then you didn’t even get so much as a thank you? Well, if that has happened to you, you’re not alone. Work, of any kind, is just that – work. Perhaps what is needed is a change in perspective. Colossians 3:23, 24 (NIV) says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” So, this timeless truth gives us insight into the type of perspective that can help change our whole outlook on work … of any kind. When we come to realize that we are actually working for the Lord (not men) we can do that work “as unto Him” … as if we were doing it directly for Him … as if He were our boss. And since we know that God is for us and not against us, anything He (as our boss, so to speak) asks us to do is for some good purpose … even if we don’t know what that purpose is at the time … or ever. We can trust that God is working it all out for good since Romans 8:28 (NIV) tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him …” So, even if we are cleaning toilets, we can choose to have the perspective that we are actually working for the Lord and we can find a purpose in our work … perhaps we are keeping the toilet sanitized so that when the next person who comes in to use it (who may have a compromised immune system) doesn’t have a bad reaction to the germs that otherwise would’ve been on the seat … if you really want to use your imagination, perhaps those germs would’ve caused a nasty rash that got infected and caused further problems for the person … including having to go to the hospital to be treated and having to be subjected to even more germs … which could’ve made even more problems develop … BUT … BECAUSE you chose to work “as unto the Lord” and BECAUSE you chose to do a good job cleaning that toilet seat, NONE of those things happened! The person with the compromised immune system NEVER had any problems whatsoever … and all because you did your job with the right perspective! So, the next time your boss asks you to do a job no one else wants to do, remember to take it in stride and have the attitude of Christ who did not think it was beneath him to wash his disciples feet but, instead, did so with love.
The Making of Whispers to the Soul
After I finished writing Vision I knew in my soul I needed a break … an extended break from writing. I was weary and worn out and after so many things happening in my life in such a short period of time I knew I needed time to recover before I could rally my strength once again to write another book.
At the same time, I was just finishing up a painting project I had decided to undertake of painting the walls of two bathrooms and a bedroom in my home. With that nearly completed came the desire to get a new clock for one of the bathrooms new décor. I looked around town but couldn’t find the style I had envisioned. Not wanting to travel an hour away or order something online I decided to check the local thrift shop hoping maybe they had something I could use.
Tired, I approached the front door of the thrift shop only to see a Help Wanted sign staring me right in the face. I couldn’t miss it. Going inside to look for the clock my mind began to whirl, thinking about the potential job opportunity even as I simultaneously argued with myself against such a foolish notion seeing how exhausted I truly was. In any case, I didn’t find a clock and I didn’t mention anything about the sign to anyone while I was in there either – I just simply went home empty-handed.
Then, for some unknown reason to me at the time, the idea of a potential job wouldn’t leave me alone. My mind was thinking of all kinds of possibilities about how it could be a good thing and something I could do while I was on my break from writing. Seeing as it was only part-time I also thought maybe I could still write and work too after my writing break was over (whenever that might be.) I prayed about it and tried to surrender my will to God’s will – whatever that might be – remembering that His will didn’t always make logical sense.
Needless to say, the idea wouldn’t go away and I felt like I should apply for the job as soon as possible since I didn’t know how long the sign had been in the window. So, I updated my resume and took it with me the next morning to apply for the job. Once there, I found out a little bit about the job itself, filled out an application and gave it back to the lady – then the waiting began to see what their decision would be.
In the meantime, I continued to finish my painting project and continued to go back and forth in my mind whether or not I actually wanted to do the job – all because of something the lady had told me while I was there about how much weight I’d have to be able to lift.
I knew I couldn’t lift that much in my own strength – but even so I didn’t want to admit it. I prayed about the whole thing again and still didn’t have any peace about what I should or shouldn’t do. Somewhere along the line I had the thought that maybe someone could help me lift the amount of weight I needed to lift (like help me carry a box or something), and I went back and forth between hoping to get a call telling me I got the job to dreading having to answer the phone and having to decide what to do. It seemed like forever went by and still I had not received a call one way or another.
While all that was going on I started thinking about other possible job opportunities if that one didn’t work out and began exploring my options. Eventually, I got tired of waiting and actually went back to the thrift shop to ask if they had hired anyone yet. So far they hadn’t I was told by the same employee I’d spoken with previously.
Then, I courageously decided to ask about how often I’d have to lift the amount of weight she’d mentioned and if it would be possible for someone to help me or not. She basically told me it would be pretty much an ongoing thing and no, I couldn’t have someone help me as there was not enough manpower around.
With that in mind, I had to accept the fact that even if they did want to hire me I couldn’t take the job as I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it. So, instead, I applied for one of the other jobs I’d come across (all the while praying for God’s direction). I even decided to drive out of my way past the location of another possible job opportunity to see if I might like to work there, but I had a bad feeling about that one so I didn’t pursue it any further.
I continued to wait to hear something from someone about whether or not I would at least be able to get an interview, but time went by and I didn’t hear a word from anyone. Still not sure what to do I continued to try to pray about it to find out what God wanted me to do.
Then, through the process of seeking God’s will, I came to learn some insights I hadn’t realized before. One of which was how I could choose to take things a certain way if I really wanted to; how I could focus on all the big, obvious signs that appeared to be confirming my decision to pursue whatever goal or dream I wanted to pursue and how I could ignore all the little, subtle “voices” that appeared to merely be doubts – or at the very least negative comments/negative thoughts – thinking once again that they were just distractions from me attaining the desired favorable outcome I imagined to be best (through exercising the faith I “fed” because I wanted to feed it).
I realized I could choose to do all those types of things and I could be wrong (in the decisions I made) – even when I thought I was trying to obey God’s will for my life – and the only way to tell the difference was to humble myself and get to the end of myself and sincerely pray and seek out God’s answers and God’s real and genuine truth – remembering that His answers often came as a whisper to my heart; to my soul.
As I remembered that God often spoke to me in a whisper (not in the earthquake or the fire like it talks about in 1 Kings 19:11,12), I remembered that I needed to be quiet and still to actually hear what He was trying to say to me – or what He may have been trying to remind me of – or what He may have been trying to confirm to my weary battered heart (soul) to soothe all the stress I had been under from so many things over-stimulating my mind, body, soul, and spirit. I realized I really did just need time to get back to basics and rest – so I could hear Him.
And, after all that, God’s Spirit would testify with my own spirit what His truth really was; what His will really was for me, personally (and then I could see all the whispers that He had whispered to me when I was unaware – not really paying attention.)
So, as it came to be, I realized I really wasn’t supposed to get a job anywhere after all – I was actually supposed to rest instead … and then eventually use the experience as I believe God intended – as a catalyst to be the inspiration for the book I have now written entitled Whispers to the soul.