October 27, 2010

Dirty Jobs

Have you ever seen the show, Dirty Jobs?  Mike Rowe tries out all the nasty, yet necessary, jobs that some people have to perform day in and day out.  Reading through the episode guide, you find these job titles: garbage collector, storm drain cleaner, plumber, dairy cow midwife, toilet recycler, bologna maker (yuck!), and meal worm farmer.  Though I've only watched once or twice, it's made me all the more thankful for those who are willing to get their hands dirty so that I don't have to!

Speaking of dirty jobs, I wish I had someone who would clean my shower and toilets for me.  Someone who'd get into the corners of my house and whisk away all the icky spider webs and dust bunnies.  A housekeeper who would rinse and clean the raw chicken so that I could just sprinkle it with some spices and pop it in the oven.  An angel from above who would clean my blasted toaster oven.

My name is Jenny and I hate housework.

Um, it kind of grosses me out.  Like, gag me with a spoon!

**Hiding behind my piles of laundry so the domestic divas out there can't swat me with their feather dusters!**

As I peer over that shower, sink, or toilet that is well-past due a good scrubbing, I am convicted.  Not convicted to clean my house, much to my husband's chagrin.  You see, housework isn't the only area in my life where I am often unwilling to get my hands dirty.   

Guess what?  Just like my disdain for cleaning my home, I'm typically not the first in line, jumping up and down for God to pick me to do the dirty work for His Kingdom.  I'm not volunteering to stick my hands deep into the muck.  It's one thing to put off jobs around the house, but to put off God's assignments for me - that's downright sinful.

Let's be honest.  As Christians, especially AMERICAN Christians, we have set aside the dirty work, waiting for someone else to step in and do it. 

GOD:  "Take care of orphans and widows." 

US:  "Not today, LORD.  I'll do it tomorrow.  You'll see!  Here's a few dollars, though.  Maybe that will
help someone else go to the orphanage."

GOD:  "Feed the poor and needy."

US:  "Well, you see, God, it's really dirty, not to mention dangerous, down there where the homeless people live.  And, um, I don't think I should go.  Send someone else, but I'll be sure to pray for them."

GOD:  "Wash each others' feet."

US:  "Ewww!!  Have you seen his feet, LORD?  Gross!  I'm sure you didn't really intend for me to do that!  Serving other people in that way is totally beneath me.  Go ask the maintenance crew to do it."

GOD:  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

US:  "I can't go right now, God.  I've got so much to do.  I've got to clean my house and get my kids ready for school.  I've also got to plan that social for the Sunday school class.  Besides, have you seen what's going on in that part of the world, LORD?  Don't you know that they're killing Christians over there?  You must have been mistaken.  You meant to ask that man I see in church all the time, raising his hands and singing so loud everyone can hear him.  He is much more spiritual than I am.  He should go.  I'll help him raise some money and send him off with my prayers."

Ouch!  Have your toes been stepped on?  Mine have and it hurts.  Though I may not vocalize any of these excuses, and I may have some "valid" reasons in my mind for skipping out on the hard stuff, disobedience is disobedience.  When God tells me to do any of these things, no matter how difficult, or risky, or jeopardous, or filthy the task may seem, I am to slip my overalls and just do them.

Mike Rowe doesn't go into those nasty situations unprepared.  He is given all the right equipment, instructions, and manpower to complete the jobs at hand.  Though he may get covered in muck, he always gets the job done.

God doesn't ask us to do anything He hasn't already equipped us to do.  He gives us all the right tools, His instruction manual, and the power of the Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."  The phrase "prepared beforehand" is from the Greek words "pro" and "hetoimazo", which are put together to mean "to fit up in advance; to ordain or prepare before."  I understand that to mean that God has fit you up and prepared you in advance of the good works He has planned for you to do.  So, why do we keep putting off the jobs He's fashioned for us to do today? 

Though I have opened myself up to being obedient to God in more areas of my life, I am merely taking baby steps.  I hope that what I'm doing now is priming me to take the big leaps so that when He asks me to do His dirty work, I'll be the one jumping up and down, saying, "Oooh, oooh, LORD, pick me, pick me!"

There are a few resources I want to share with you that God has used to soften my heart on these matters. 
  • I have been reading the book, Same Kind of Different as Me, by Denver Moore and Ron Hall, with Lynn Vincent.  It's a true story about being obedient and getting out of your comfort zone.  Ron Hall and his wife, Deborah, did what so many of us will not do.  They loved the homeless as if they were family. 
  • For the past 2 Novembers, I have gone to an orphanage in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.  I wrote about the first time I went there in this post:  Report & Pics from Mexico.  You can learn more about Casa Hogar Elim by going to their website and they also have a group on Facebook.  Mama Lupita, the woman who runs the orphanage, has taught me more about being a servant to those in need more than anyone I've ever met.  Sadly, our church group is unable to go this November because of violence in the area, but I know I will go again.  You can help them by praying or sending a financial gift or both.
  • God uses music to speak to my heart.  Here are some songs that touch on the issue of doing the hard work God has called us to: 
                   "Follow You" - Leeland
                   "The Power of Your Name" - Lincoln
                    Brewster w/ Darlene Zschech
                   "Albertine" - Brook Fraser
                   "I Saw What I Saw" - Sara Groves
                   "My Own Little World" - Matthew West.

"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." - Luke 2:10


Mommy of 2 and 2 said...

What a message!! Thanks for squishing the toes... They needed it! You have a gift in writing and I am grateful that you are obedient enough to share :) Blessings my friend!!

Penny said...

great post Jenny :)

Melissa said...

Love your honesty and heart.

Lori said...

You make me laugh....and especially since I love housework!

Well, certain housework! :)