Last Friday, I was served a fresh, local, and organic meal in the home of my favorite foodies, Kevin and Stacey. Afterward, we watched the documentary Food Matters (stopping midway for a raw fruit pizza topped with pomegranate, kiwi berries, figs, and homemade whipped topping), and I tried to soak up as much information as I could. One of the things I learned is that eating two handfuls of cashews is a natural, no-side-effects way to treat the body with the same benefits of Prozac. Because I tend to carry a dark cloud around with me during the colder, greyer months (and I haven't exactly been a ray of sunshine lately, either), I decided to start right away with what I had on hand. Yum.
So, maybe it's the cashews talking, but guess what? Today is a new day, there is never going to be another one like it, and I'm going to enjoy it.
When I am asked about a particular situation that I'm not crazy about at the moment, I'm going to get creative with my answers. Of course, there is a place for airing grievances, but too much complaining deepens discontent in the speaker and breeds it in the listener. Even if the words are said in a sweet voice- which I sometimes do and sometimes I'm just a grouch. And for all the talk, the effort, and the thought about loving people, I think I've been pushing them down with my words. With all that complaining.
And that's where I need to get my head on straight. The complaining...and also my focus on the people around me. Of course, they're important, yes, but...I call Jesus my king. I believe that he sees everything- my efforts, my hurts, my intentions, my shortcomings, my heart. I believe he wants to restore all of me- and all of everything- into wholeness, perfection, and beauty. If I call Jesus my king, then my overarching purpose is to serve him.
When I remember that, I'm relieved. Because if my purpose is to serve Jesus, then how much does it matter whether I get to see the fruits of my labor, whether I am commended by my boss or my peers? How much does it matter if someone else gets the credit for what I do, if all the situations in my life are as I want them, or if someone else thinks I'm doing enough? All those worries don't add up to much. There is something for me to do on earth that lasts forever.
When I remember that, I don't want to complain. I want to work better and harder. I want to hug people and help them up. I want to smile and point out the beautiful.
Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work. -Colossians 3:22-25