I'm pretty sure it was Chuck Swindoll who said "You will know if your heart is that of a servant in how you react when being treated like one."
(insert hard swallow and the harsh realization that while I read this quote a solid 10 years ago, it hasn't left my mind.)
There are days I wish I could forget this quote. I have forgotten things like which generals fought in the civil war and how to use the Pythagorean Theorem, but this quote has haunted me for the last decade of my life.
When I look at my day as a mom, I realize that so often my frustration stems out of me being treated like a servant. My husband and kids are very grateful and encourage me often. But still I think "I'm gonna get sick for a day and you guys will really appreciate me."
Hello red flag!
Today, when I was cleaning up the mess made from our paper mache pig activity (in case you're wondering, paper mache and jr. high lock-ins were created by the devil), I'm grumbling and impatient. But honestly, it's my job. It's my calling. It's my blessing. My four-year old can help clean, but I'm gonna have to come behind him and finish the job. But so often I see it as my duty and not my opportunity to love and serve my family.
I have found my attitude becomes quickly irritated when I have something else I want to be doing. I see the matted mound of newspapers as sucking my time away from returning an email. If I took on the perspective that James talked about in chapter 4 verse 17 "If anyone knows what is the right thing to do and yet does not do it, for him it is sin," then my attitude would be one of gratefulness at doing the task instead of sinning.
For me to look at the pile of newspapers, spilled glue, dilapidated balloon and think "ugh, not again, I'm just gonna skip this project altogether," would be sin for me. I know that the right thing to do is to complete the project with my kids and do it with joy. And if I don't do that very thing, it is sin.
That is a big ol' nasty, pre-natal-vitamin-sized pill to swallow.
A servant looks at the needs of the house and does them because it's their God given task for that day. Each task that I get to do is a chance for me to offer it back to Him as worship and to teach my kids what it means to serve with a heart of Jesus. Jesus peeled caked on layers of dirt from the disciple's feet and told them to do the same. This job wasn't one for a King; it was one for a servant. But for very non-worldly reasons, Jesus is asking us to humble ourselves into a position of service.
When there are clothes to be cleaned and dinner to be prepared, I shouldn't balk or complain because that is the simple task that this servant has been given. And because I know my Master's heart, I can be guaranteed that each task is innately good, because He is good.
Tomorrow is a new day. A day where (God willing) I will look at the pile of legos that has been vomited across my floor and I will bend down with joy to pick them up because it's my job. It's my joy.