Doing everything for God and God alone

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I'm used to doing things with a goal in mind. I like understanding how what I'm doing at this moment in my life fits into something bigger, how it reaches toward a dream I have for the future or how it loves God's people. It makes me feel important, hopeful and purposeful, and I like feeling like that.

This summer I've been so blessed with a job at a restaurant. It's not what I had planned for my summer -- I wanted to experience and be God's love in big ways in some exotic land ... or at least in another state.

Instead God chose to unveil his sweetness and love to me 10 minutes away from my house through hamburgers, waitressing shorthand and people who embrace my love for gooseberry pie.

While I really like waitressing and love talking with customers and my co-workers, mopping the floors is my least favorite part of the job. The mop is heavy, the chairs from the tables seem like barriers to getting the job done well (and quickly), and it's hard work. I sweat. No one applauds when I'm finished, or really even notices. It's hard to see how cleaning floors serves God's Kingdom -- they're just going to get dirty again the next day, and someone will have to scrub them yet another time.

These were the thoughts hovering around my mind the other day when the song "Do Everything" by Steven Curtis Chapman popped into my head while I was scrubbing under table number 8B. The song carries the same message as Colossians 3:17, which says, "And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Then came a revelation. Everything I do can serve God's Kingdom, not just the obvious ministry-specific things. I don't have to understand how everything I do fits into the symphony God is composing with all of history. Maybe the things I do don't even make a noticeable difference in the life of anyone, but I am created to serve an audience of One.

Doing everything I do for God and God alone makes a difference to him, and gives renewed joy and purpose to things that might otherwise seem monotonous. God sees me; he sees the things I do and the heart I do them with. He takes delight in the things I find ordinary when I do them with a heart full of love and thanksgiving for him and who he is.

Jesus didn't start his public ministry the day after he was born -- he waited 30 years. In the meantime, he lived a normal life where he was, loving his parents and learning about God, the world and his trade. He chose to live an average life for 30 years to show us that day-to-day life is holy, that the menial tasks are sacred acts of worship when we do them for our heavenly Father.

I don't know what Jesus did in his daily life, but I know it was beautiful. And just maybe -- occasionally -- he even mopped a floor or two.

Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.

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