I've been thinking about serving and how tired I get doing it. School teachers know how any given day can leave them completely drained. Actually, anyone serving in any capacity knows about the tiredness and feelings of exhaustion...schoolteachers aren't special in this.
I was complaining to Bruce about the seven active wild boys in my classroom and how I don't get paid to teach them manners and about how I am tired of gross ideas and potty mouth...my rant continued on these lines of ultimatums. I stated, “It's going to stop! I don't have to put up with this. They can use their manners while they are in my presence.” etc...
Do you know what that man said? He said, “Umm, actually you do. It's a part of your job to see that they behave themselves and learn. And boys will be boys.” I think this man of mine is good for me.
But it made me wonder if I need to accept listening to armpit noises and burping and smelling farts as a daily part of educating these little guys. I decided not to ask his opinion on that in particular and go with my motherly instinct and at least attempt to teach them in a practical manner that all bodily functions are just that. Previously, I had acknowledged their jokes about bodily functions in such a casual manner and told them that peeing and farting and pooping were a regular part of the human bodily functions. That seemed to take the funny right out of it for them. That I would say those words out loud in front of them all seemed to get my point across.
I read this morning on my Bible app about serving when we have nothing left to give. Which is kinda how I've been feeling with these daily behavior problems. Apostle Paul and Bruce both have the same idea about not making stipulations on what part we play in serving. To serve is to care...it means we minister to the needs we see in front of us. The “real” serving that Jesus taught is messy and inconvenient and not easy. Romans 15:1 says it this way: We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. It is not about what I like or want or appreciate.
Last night I was at Burger King in Sandpoint with two of my own kids. The staff in the restaurant were in need of more personnel. Restocking the pop machine and napkins and condiments had not happened, the floor was sticky, the kitchen looked grimy from our side of the counter. The four men working the shift were frazzled and all seemed to be in agreement to not engage the customer. They kept their eyes glued to the order screens and assembled sandwiches and fried french fries methodically but slowly. The two guys working the counter both wore headsets for the drive- thru, taking orders for the outside while also trying to keep the inside counter customer happy. It was not a good experience. Grownups were snarly.
I had to think about the ordinary man this week who randomly snipered down all those people, a man nobody would have thought was capable of such a massacre. It could have been a guy like one of those men last night methodically stuffing french fries into their papers. Did someone simply overlook this person? Did he not ever feel or know love and kindness or acts of service? What if one of his schoolteachers had overlooked trying to teach him manners?
I thought about the Bible verse that says “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” If one man could create so much evil in one afternoon, we should believe the verse that tells us not to be overcome by it. The only thing evil can be overcome by, is good. The only thing that is truly good, is GOD. If I believe there is more power in good, that it is more potent than evil, then I am going to believe that God at work in our lives is capable of just one ordinary person carrying out good. A lot of good...more than evil.
All it takes is one person doing the thing that God has placed in front of him without personal limitations. I must stop making statements of “I can't take anymore of this” and “ I didn't sign up for this trial”. That kind of thinking shuts down the goodness God can make out of the unlikeable. We must be willing and joyful working in the inconvenient and grime of life. Maybe there we can truly understand what Jesus meant when he asked us to deny ourselves and take up His cross and follow Him.