Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Art of Broom Pushing

It was the part of the morning where the sun started its climb higher into the sky. Its slanted rays burst through the windows, cutting a path through the haze and dust of the gym where I stood. The grogginess of my altercation with my alarm clock that morning lingered still. With dust mop in hand, I began my usual routine.

Push. Pace. Pray. Repeat.

It was my favorite part of the day. Solitude and a simple, humble task at hand. Time to think and pray and come fully awake before the rest of our daily tasks of housekeeping at the camp would commence. Even though my days of scrubbing toilets for Jesus are about a year-and-a-half removed now, I cherish that season of life. At times, I even long to go back to making minimum wage and spending my afternoons off traipsing along the shores of Lake Michigan with friends. There was something sacred about that time.

Nearly every summer for five years, I found myself at that camp. Pushing a broom. Scrubbing a toilet. Getting new towels for mothers with impressively messy children. Many times, it was a place of healing. Something about working through the mundane, and often disgusting, tasks of housekeeping gave opportunity for God to teach me a thing or two about service, humility and obedience.

Many-an evening were spent sitting on the beach, listening to the waves and watching the sun paint the horizon as it set. We would take late night walks, listening to the wind rustle through the dune grass and watching the moon dance on the water. I could reminisce for hours about the memories made in that place. And as insignificant as a job like housekeeping may seem on a me, it was deeply impacting. It is integral to my story.

Push. Pace. Pray. Repeat.

Sometimes God puts us in a place where we are over-qualified for our position, just to teach us to slow down and to embrace the season. He sets us in the midst of a situation where what is expected of us is far less than what we are capable of doing. Sometimes, He calls us to push a broom before we take that dream job or go overseas to be a missionary or start that project that has been burning in our hearts for years. Sometimes He even takes us out of our present accomplishments and reduces us to that place of simplicity, just so we can get past ourselves and back to Him again. Just so we can hear Him speak.

Push. Pace. Pray. Repeat.

Against the backdrop of many irons in the fire and more than one dream coming true in my life, I long for that place of simplicity again. A season where things are stripped down and relatively uncomplicated. In the same breath, I realize that we are prone to spend too much of our lives wishing for something more. Something less. Something different. So instead, I choose to be all here. All now. Entirely present.

Being content regardless of circumstance is much more than just a lesson learned. It is an attitude of heart adopted. A lifelong pursuit of something far greater than our own gain. Infinitely beyond our grasp. It is giving our lives away for an end entirely impossible to reach by human hands. An end that can only be accomplished through God’s plan, orchestration, wisdom and grace. And, when the time comes, the willingness to let it all go and begin once again.

Push. Pace. Pray. Repeat.


Blogger Darcie said...

"Sometimes God puts us in a place where we are over-qualified for our position, just to teach us to slow down and to embrace the season."

Interesting. I needed to hear that.

2:59 AM  

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