Someone's Got To Do It
I was caught in my sin the other day at work. A friend (jokingly) called me out and said, "Well, that's not very Christian of you Anna."
Namely, she was referring to the rant I just spewed out about how I was not going to go back in a patient's room because of how frustrated I was with them and how disconcerned they were with the fact that I had 3 other patients.
I was done.
And I felt justified in my frustration and my disdain for this patient.
But when she said this (mind you, it was a joke - not intended for actual correction or meant to be taken seriously), I was convicted.
I had messed up. My coworkers who know I am a Christian now saw me actively referring to someone, who was not in their right mind, in a hateful and bitter way.
I confessed and said, "My flesh is winning today."
Someone's Got To Do It
Sadly, this isn't a new issue. For weeks and months now, the unit I work on has been dealing with an incredible amount of difficult patients, family members, doctors, and to top it all off a chaotic failed transition from the type of unit we were to the type of unit we are trying to be.
And I have been responding to this weight with a great deal of negativity.
But it wasn't until recently that God convicted me of this bitterness.
This lack of willingness to care for difficult patients.
The patients that need sitters and restraints and security.
And the thought that has kept coming to my mind (that I can only assume is from God) is this: Someone's got to do it.
Someone has to take care of these people. Someone has to clean the bathrooms. Someone has to take out the trash and come after hours to vacuum the office.
Someone has to do the job that nobody wants to do. And sometimes, God calls us to be that someone.
Work As A Way Of Worship
Two of the most joy-filled people I work with are not nurses. They are not doctors or surgeons. They are not secretaries or supervisors. And they don't have a fancy degree or save lives on a regular basis.
One works with housekeeping, making sure our patients' rooms are spotless, and the other works with nutrition, delivering meals to patients all across the hospital.
They do hard work, with little reward, in a way that lights up our unit every time they are on the floor.
In Mark Buchanan's book, "The Rest of God", he writes:
"No work is so menial that it cannot be rendered as worship."
I think the difference between me and my two co-workers is that I have made my work about me, and my best guess is that they view their work as though they are doing it for someone else.
I've been thinking in a "Someone's got to do it," mentality instead of a, "Someone gets to do it," mentality.
Mark goes on to say:
"What if your work became worship? What if the work of your hands - repairing lawn mowers, scouring pots, paving streets, mending bones, balancing ledgers - was Eucharistic, a sacrament of God's presence that you gave an received? What if Jesus himself was your boss, the One who watched over you and whom you honored with your efforts?"
My Challenge: Be The Someone Who Brings Light
What if we changed our thinking from "Someone's got to do it," to, "We get to do it."
I'm not saying it will be easy. But I'm challenging you all and myself to start thinking of our work as a way to worship our loving God.
When we find ourselves in difficult circumstances that we would remember the difficult circumstances He has brought us out of.
When we find ourselves working with difficult people that we would remember how difficult we are and how God still loves us.
And when we find ourselves angry and bitter with our jobs that we would replace those feelings with feelings of graciousness to God for giving us a way to provide for ourselves and our families.
Do I believe that you should stay in an unhealthy environment at a job you do not feel called to? No.
But I would encourage you to make sure that you are actually trusting and following God and not running away from a difficult situation that He actually wants to grow you in. Even when we are in the field in which we feel called to (whether that be at home, as an attorney, as a writer, or as a nurse), our work will be difficult.
Let's bet the someone's that bring hope and light to our workplaces. Not because of the perfect circumstances we find ourselves in, but because of the hope we have in our perfect God.
"We don't get to choose the trouble that work brings us. But we do get to choose how we respond to it, and the way we work amidst it. We can work as a means to get from one day to the next, or we can work in a way that is an act of worship. What would that look like for you?" - A good friend