One thing about my current job that is not my favorite - I spend a good deal of each day changing adult diapers. Usually, it's not as bad as it sounds. I've gotten quite used to it, and my least favorite thing about it is just that it takes time away from other things.
Friday was different. Two situations made me HATE this task, at least for the day. One of my clients got upset during her morning change, threw her right arm off of the mechanical lift used to hold her up, and the result was a heavy, very messy bum falling on top of me. I caught her with my left leg and had to use all my strength to lift her just enough to place this messy bum onto the very edge of her wheelchair, then called for help to get her repositioned and cleaned up. Afterwards, I asked my boss if I could leave briefly and go home. I was filthy, first off all, and while I could have gotten myself cleaned up at work, I was also pretty shaken by the whole thing. Had I not caught her, she could have been very seriously hurt. Had I caught her at a different angle, it would have been ME who could have been very seriously hurt. I took a 30-minute break, went home to wash and change, and came back slightly refreshed.
That very afternoon, another client, this one fully capable of using a toilet independently, instead had a very large mess in her brief that needed to be cleaned. She has little patience for anyone interacting with her, so the entire time I was attempting to clean her she was squealing, pinching me, and stepping on my toes. I was exasperated and SO ready for a weekend in which I would only be responsible for my OWN toileting :-)
I tried, in and after those challenging moments, to shepherd my heart toward truth. Two biblical instructions came to mind: to do ALL things without grumbling or complaining (not MOST, but ALL), and to work as though I was working for the Lord and not for people. Helpful things to call to mind, but today I found more.
I read through Phillipians and was rocked by the beginning of chapter 2. Familiar verses to many:
"(1)So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, (2) complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. (3) Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (4) Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (5) Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, (6) who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, (7) but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
Two thoughts struck me as a result:
1) Am I forgetting the benefits listed in 2:1 when I don't obey verses 2-4? Here I didn't think so much of work as of my relationships with other believers. Convicting stuff to be reminded of.
2) If I'm having trouble doing "humble" tasks at work, I MUST remember the humility of Christ! Here is what I lacked on Friday. I can strive for obedience, strive to be a joyful hard worker instead of a grumbler, but what I needed was to remember that my Savior, though GOD, humbled HIMSELF to DEATH. I think I can clean a few messy diapers.
Not coincidentally, just a few verses later comes the command to "do all things without grumbling or questioning." With the example of Jesus fresh in my mind, and by His strength, let this be true of the way I work this week!