As some of you may know, I’ve taken a second “job” cleaning houses on the weekend. Yesterday was, by far, the most challenging day so far, with one of my 3 houses consisting of dusting for 3 hours expensive knick knacks and kitsch that hadn’t been dusted in approximately 3 years. Today I feel it in every muscle and bone of my body.
As I scrubbed floors, I found myself getting very weary and frustrated with the situation. It’s what I have to do for right now, to provide for my family, however spending one entire day of my weekend doing so is discouraging.
But then I had a thought. I hope that I’m not writing this out of pride, but rather out of a “revelation” I had there on the bathroom floor.
The thought came to me that it is an honor and a privilege to clean other people’s homes. Yes, it is paid work. But it is also servant hood, to a degree. Obviously it would be more servanthood if money were not involved. But disregarding that issue, it is service. The people whose homes one cleans are trusting the cleaner with their home and possessions. And the person doing the cleaning should do the very best job that they can do, because any job worth doing is worth doing well.
Cleaning houses is not glamorous work. It’s sweaty, dirty and tiring work. But doesn’t scripture speak to this issue?
1 Corinthians 10:31-33
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
If one were to read the whole section of scripture that contains these verses, they would see that Paul is speaking about being careful not to offend either Jews or Gentiles, particularly regarding food that is to be eaten or not eaten. Even so, that does not take away from the important phrase added to 31–it almost seems as if it were added as an afterthought–“Or Whatever You Do”. Do all to the glory of God. Even scrubbing toilets! 🙂
But why? What is the reason behind doing the things that I–and you–do: parenting, cleaning, working a job, working two jobs, worshipping, exercise, and a myriad of other things? The answer is found in verse 33–that they may be saved. That the people you work with, work for, parent, are friends with, or are simple acquaintances might see that you (and I) are different, and that difference comes from knowing Christ; from having a relationship with God.
So, preaching to myself, I must get up tomorrow morning, spend time with God to get my mind straight, parent well before school, and then push myself to go to work and do the best job that I can do, for the glory of God. Oh, it’s not easy. I think it’s meant to be not easy. Because if it were easy, I wouldn’t need God’s strength or help, I could do it on my own. But it is hard. It is exhausting. But only by the grace of God am I able to do what I need to do, and hopefully (though sadly not nearly well or often enough) do it to the glory of God.