Do What Makes You Happy
This morning I walked into a public restroom. I was so engrossed in my phone, I almost didn't notice the custodian woman in front of the mirror, doing her make up. As I washed my hands, she said hello.
If I'm being totally honest, I was slightly surprised. I had chosen to basically ignore her presence but when she said hello, acknowledging my presence, I was called to break attention from myself in the mirror and turn my attention to her. Isn't this just how God works?
I responded with a friendly, "hello", to which she responded, "How's your day going?"
This little bit of curiosity from her led to a ten minute conversation in which the Lord revealed so much of His heart to me.
Over the course of our conversation, she asked me what I did. I hate this question. I feel like so much of my worth depends on it. I always try to make it sound cooler than it is, "Well I've started my own business/ministry and I work as the Marketing Manager at a wedding venue." Sounds honorable enough, right?
She responded, "Wow, that's great! I really believe you have to do what makes you happy. I never thought I'd be scrubbing toilets, but I lost my job five years ago due to a nervous breakdown. So, here I am, in all its glory", she said laughing, "but there's a simplicity to it. I don't mind."
There I was, worrying about how to make what I do seem honorable and admirable as this woman was so humbly honest in her position. Not only was she humble, but she embraced it!
Ick. I felt ashamed. I hate pride. I hate feeling it dictate my conversations. I didn't want to look in the mirror again.
She didn't seem concerned whether or not I approved of her position. It was clear that she was more concerned with her purpose than her position in the simple fact that she felt the need to reach me in love, amidst scrubbing toilets.
She shook my hand, saying she was glad to meet me and that she believes everyone meets for a purpose. And she was right. I'm not sure if I served as any encouragement to her, but she sure did for me. Her words shook me, "There's a simplicity to it. I don't mind." This woman understood the truth that the world would not look at her position or rank in society admirably. But that's where she was, and she was content.
In her humility and contentment, I saw the Lord's heart. I saw an example of a life He calls me to.
Maybe it's not scrubbing toilets, maybe it is. But ultimately, the life He calls me to is one of life looking up, not out, for approval.
I began looking at all the things I try to draw worth from in this life. Here are a few that you may relate to:
My significant other
Etc. Etc. Etc...
Notice how Jesus isn't included? Notice how all those things are on the horizontal level? Notice how all those things are about me?
But look at my custodian friend. She wasn't dwelling on how she appeared, what the world approved (or disapproved) in her life -- she just WAS. She was there, she was present, she was looking for ways to love. What if we lived more like that? If we looked up for approval, realizing that all those promises of worth from the world just won't cut it, and that when we look up, we are free? We are free from the shackles this world puts on us and equipped to focus more on our PURPOSE - to love, to rejoice, and to walk in His love - and less on our POSITION.
I walked away from that conversation with eyes open. I don't have to present what I do in a perfect little package so that the world approves it. I don't have to draw my worth from the world around me. I am invited to look up, to embrace the purpose I've been given in the humblest of places.
And so are you.