"Be strong and do not give up,
for your work will be rewarded."
2 Chronicles 15:7
One day I made a list of things that I had to do, knowing I was so bewildered and confused by pain that I might forget. I wrote:
- Get up.
- Go to bed.
Some days, that's more work than you'll do the rest of your life. Some days, your work is to be patient with yourself. Other days, your work is just to be yourself.
Recently I met an incredible lady who was so good at the being-patient part. She worked at a large publishing house that produced a huge number of Bibles --- all kinds of Bibles in all translations, sizes, and models.
We were shown how the Bibles are assembled, printed, and prepared for packaging and shipment. But one particular step in the process astounded me. You know how we take it for granted that Bibles have those little gold tabs denoting the various books? We came to one station where a woman was sitting on a stool with a pair of tweezers. She was picking up one small gold tab at a time and attaching it to the thin page of the Bible where it belonged.
The amazing thing is that this woman had been doing this for ten years! Over and over again, eight hours a day, four weeks a month, twelve months a year she had been picking up a little gold tab with tweezers and sticking it to a page of a Bible. I thought to myself, I would last about one Bible doing this, for sure. And yet I knew that life is made up of routine, and I started thinking about what those things were in my own life: brushing my teeth, making the bed, hanging up my clothes...
That day I decided that I wanted to do something to add meaning to all the boring routines in my day. I decided to celebrate them, to make them stand out as worthwhile accomplishments. I started by making a list of the things I do every single day without fail, including weekends. The list started with waking up to the same old alarm buzzer in the morning. It ended with switching off the lamp beside my bed in the evening.
My celebrations began when I traded in my buzzing clock for a radio alarm set to soft music. That was by far the biggest change I made. In other things, I made attitude adjustments. Glancing in the mirror on the way to the bathroom, I started smiling at myself. This started an amazing transformation from the inside out. As I brushed my teeth, I started praising God that I had teeth to brush. Making the bed became a ritual of prayer for my grandchildren. And so on ...
Each time I faced a tedious, mundane task, I imbued it with enthusiasm. I tried to think up a personally edifying reason for doing what I was doing. I made sure no mundane or trivial task was overlooked. I wanted to fill each one with a sense of being golden, like the sticker placed with care on the pages of those Bibles.
With practice in patience, all my emotions are becoming golden. These moments include filling the cat's dish or wiping off countertops, things that take a few seconds or a few minutes. Ho-hum days begin to glow --- just enough to make things look rosy. Busy, stressful days are lighter when I remember my resolution to be patient and steady.
Then on really bad days, I think about the patience of the lady sitting on the stool in the publishing house where Bibles are produced by the millions. I think about all the hands that will touch the pages of those Bibles and rely on those little golden tabs. And I believe my tedious moments will be redemptive, too.
"Oh, Lord, because of your life in me, each moment of my life
has value and potential for significance --- if I will only
celebrate it. Infuse my attitude with the fruit of your Spirit, patience.
Source: Joy Breaks, 90 Devotions to Celebrate, Simplify, and Add Laughter to Your Life, by Patsy Clairmont, Barbara Johnson, Marilyn Meberg and Luci Swindoll.