Sunday, August 13, 2006
When it comes to my job, I have not been a happy camper lately. In fact, in the past month, my husband has talked me out of quitting numerous times. It was tough to hang in, however, and I wrestled with depression and disappointment on the job and off. Yesterday, I tried to explain to a friend the way my job had changed and how it no longer satisfied--in fact, I found it frustrating and dull. After hearing me out, she simply said: “Sounds like you got demoted.”
Yep, that pretty much hit the nail on the head. Her words fueled my resolve to be done with it.
But that all changed recently.
I had one of those moments where everything changes and nothing really does. The “everything” referring to my outlook and attitude, of course. The “nothing” being the circumstances surrounding my job.
It all started with a sparrow. A humble brown birdie, splashing happily about in a rusty old watering can.
I was grumpily downing a cup of coffee and trying to focus in the devotional book I was reading. I’d had a rough night, up and down with an assortment of physical and spiritual afflictions. When Greg got up at 6:30, I mumbled that I wasn’t going to work today, I was going to try to get some sleep. He called in sick for me (I really was, should my supervisor read this), and I tried to lose consciousness. To no avail.
Greg had left me a fresh-brewed pot of coffee, so I put on my robe, grabbed a mug and shuffled out to the sun-drenched deck.
The afore-mentioned sparrow was having so much fun with its bath, I gave up reading and just watched the silly thing.
It was precisely at that moment when I forgot all about my working woes. And I remembered something the Lord told me many years ago.
He told me that I am a little brown sparrow--common, ordinary, generally undervalued and overlooked. And that understanding and emulating that sparrow is my destiny, my purpose and my high calling.
“Huh?” you say.
“NO WAY! Is actually what I told God when He first spoke to me. I wanted to be a peacock for sure, spreading out my spiritual gifts and talents in a wondrous array. (I didn’t know it at the time, but my driving motivation was to be noticed, respected and affirmed in spiritual circles. To be acknowledged as special and even a bit extraordinary. It wasn’t until the Lord plucked all my fine plumage from me that I could recognize what an ugly duckling I was--and by then, the sparrow was looking pretty good to me!).
The Bible actually says a lot about sparrows. And I don’t want to brag about them, because that would be unsparrowlike, but one of my favorite verses is Ps. 84:3:
“Even the sparrow has found her a home; and the swallow a nest for herself--
Where she may lay her young--even on Your altars, O Lord of Hosts.”
Just how do the sparrow and swallow get to build their nests right in the very presence of God? They are so small and so very ordinary that they attract no attention! They are able to dwell in the presence of the Lord--and raise their children in His sight--because of their very lowliness.
You won’t see any peacock nests in the temple!
So, how does this relate to my job?
For one thing, I realized that I don’t need a title or position to accomplish great things for God. Even when my efforts go unnoticed and my work unrewarded, I’m building His kingdom, one small straw at a time. In His grace and goodness, He allows me to feel His heart for the native people of Alaska--broken and relentless in His redeeming love.
And that is enough for this little brown bird . . .