Whenever I eat dinner at a restaurant with servers, I pose the question, “What did the chef make for dinner for you tonight?” Most are a bit surprised by my question but all oblige me and have divulged some interesting answers. One server was enthusiastic and exclaimed that it is usually pasta or fried rice, but once a week, the chef will prepare one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. At one seafood restaurant, the meal was chicken, unusual since chicken was not even a menu item. Of course, some disgruntled workers shared that their restaurant did not feed them at all, nor does it give them a discount on meals taken at the restaurant. After I hear such a statement, to no surprise, I have noticed that servers in these restaurant are not as friendly nor as helpful as other restaurants.
Am I any different? When I was an employee working at other companies, I distinctly noted my own attitude and behavior was directly proportional to my perception over how I was treated. If I felt mistreated or underappreciated, it was difficult for me to be enthusiastic to an applicant seeking a position with the company. Similarly, when things were going well, I could easily be effusive in my praise and sell the merits of the company. Looking back, it all seems petty but when grinding it out in the trenches, it helped to know that your superiors acknowledge, value, and reward your efforts. Like a free, well-prepared meal, served in a popular restaurant,an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving in the workplace goes a long way to foster a collegial work environment.
His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
Matthew 25:21 (ESV)
When I serve God in His Church, I sometimes become discouraged. Activities do not go as planned; there are interpersonal conflicts; priorities may clash with different parties. It is easy to focus upon the negatives and fall back to petty behaviors, taking my eye off the reason I serve God. It is not to make me feel better, it it is to serve Him out of thanksgiving in my heart for the grace and mercy He bestowed upon me by changing my heart and saving me from the forlorn path of destruction that my life was following.
Someday, when I am in Heaven before my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, He will review the works I have done on this earth. At that time, I will clearly see that the trials, the tribulations-all of these were to prepare my heart and strengthen my faith so that I may receive the reward the crown of glory in the presence of God. I want to seek His approval! As I serve God, He transforms my petty desires into a true longing to willingly and lovingly serve Him.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.