Wednesday, April 25, 2007

In a Few Moments of Compu-Grace . . .

. . . let me reiterate that The High Calling is a site to be seen.

Here's what I'm thinking about today. In the months of trying not to say mean things about customers, and when the alarm clock goes off at 3.45a.m. so I can serve coffee to people who are up almost as early, and when I have to miss an episode of Lost to work a closing shift, sometimes a job feels like just a job. Today, when my alarm went off in the hours before dawn, I thought, "Will someone please let me off this gerbil-wheel?" (That was after I figured out what my alarm clock was, and why it was making that horrible racket.)

Then I went to work and served coffee to those early risers, and a few later risers who say absurd things like, "Yeah, I'm not awake yet; it's early" at ten o'clock in the morning, and I smiled and was pleasant, and they were, too, really. And all I did was serve coffee. It doesn't feel very transformational, but yesterday a customer told me he doesn't have any friends and then talked to me for about twenty minutes about other stuff. And sometimes I get a glimpse of how serving coffee is maybe making a difference anyway.

On Monday (along with the computer shutting itself off three times in succession), our sceptic system backed up into the basement, and this guy (who gets paid way more than I do, but also has to scubadive in other people's waste-products), came and cleaned out the tank in the dark. Since I feel that I never have any money, but at the same time it's one of my lesser-motivating factors (which would be why I still work at Starbucks instead of the law office, I guess), I have a hard time imagining what possesses people to make a career of such work. But I'm glad somebody does it. Just the fact that they're willing to, whether they acknowledge God in it or not, makes a difference to me. God's grace can be given and received in any work.

I was reading "I Choose" by Don Murdock on the very site I'm, um, citing. He talks about choosing to live out each of the fruit of the Spirit every day before heading in to one's gainful employment. I usually just say something quick and cursory like, "God, please help me to exhibit who You are today." It's kind of mindless, which is maybe the point, because then I don't have to think about choosing, and I am not in much danger of feeling convicted by a specific attribute that I am not very good at or "accidentally" ignore. The article was a good reminder of the fact that the point of following Christ is actually to follow Him and not expect Him to just drop you into goodness and sanctified work automatically.

I have a feeling I'll be thinking more such thoughts the next time I get to visit that site.

I would also like to mention some of the others who are writing about their daily work, and God's caring about it, and The High Calling site on this blog tour. They include:

Gordon Atkinson, L. L. Barkat, Gina Conroy, Craver VII, CREEations, Milton Brasher-Cunningham, Mary DeMuth, Karl Edwards, Emdashery, Every Square Inch, Green Inventions, Amy Goodyear, Marcus Goodyear, Al Hsu, Not Ashamed, Charles Foster Johnson, Mike McLoughlin, Eve Nielsen, Naked Pastor, Ramblin Dan, Charity Singleton, Stacy, Camy Tang, Writer… Interrupted

Visit them, too. It will be well worth it.


L.L. Barkat said...

citing the site... what a sight! (you made me laugh)

jasdye said...

reminding myself constantly that i don't work for fame, recognition, money or even (hard to say for a male) respect.

i work as unto God. i work to redeem people to God. i work teaching oftentimes rebellious students in the hopes that their lives will be better off from my efforts and in the hopes that they will recognize that someone truly loves them.

and i need constant reminders of that. so, thanks, jenn w/ 2 n's, for another reminder.

Barry Pike said...

I appreciate you serving coffee. Especially good coffee at all hours of the day or night. Some of us really, really want and need that.

It may or may not qualify as an actual ministry...but I'd be willing to argue a pretty good case for it.

Stacey said...

As someone who loves where I work and is thrilled with the product that I support, let me just say that I think there is no occupation in life that won't feel like "just a job" some days.

Thanks for the reminder that it is important to remember who we really work for and for citing the idea about asking for the gifts of the spirit for the work place.

Mark Goodyear said...

First, I loved this: "Will someone please let me off this gerbil-wheel?"

That may be my new mantra for when I'm having a bad day. (It used to be "Moron, your bus is leaving." But that's not really very nice.)

Mark Goodyear said...

Serving Coffee definitely qualifies as ministry... if you are thinking of ministry as diakonia, and ministers as diakonos.

Who were the ministers in John 2 when Jesus performed his first miracle? Not the disciples. Not Jesus. Not the wedding coordinator. The servants who did what Jesus told them to do. He asked for water and they got it.

When people ask you for coffee, you serve it. With a smile and a warm comment, I'm sure.

That is ministry.

David A. Zimmerman said...

You should really find and read the article "Coffee Drinking" in The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity. For centuries now the world has been moved forward over coffee. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans my first thought was of my aunt and cousins; my second thought was of Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter. I raise my travel mug to you, Jennnnnn.

Jenn said...

Thanks, all, for your observations and encouragement and the way you minister . . . even on the blog!


Marcus--not very nice, perhaps, but I definitely get it!

Dave--kudos to you for having a travel mug.

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