At work, I have learned that literally EVERYONE is lazy. Most of my life, I have worked in the service industry, so I may be well too accustomed to people not doing their part. However, now that I’m working in the corporate world, I realize that it’s not just service jobs where laziness is prevalent.
No, we have people here who leave their trash on the counter for others to throw away; spilled milk for someone else to wipe up. They steal boxes of tea, rolls of paper towels and cans of soda to hide in their own office so that they don’t have to get up and go to the kitchen. They leave dishes in the sink for someone else to clean.
It’s really appauling that “grown a–” people, as Kendra Baskett would say, could be so lazy. That they don’t have the time to do minor things that take only a few seconds.
Trust me, I am not perfect either. There is a large trash can in our storage room, but a larger freight trash down the hall toward the service elevator. When I first started working, I would cram every last soda box I could into the smaller storage trash can because I didn’t want to walk down the hall. It was pathetic now that I look back. Eventually the trash would be so stuffed and overflowed at the beginning of the day that we would have to make the extra trip to the freight trash anyway to dispose of the additional trash. Made no sense on my part.
So I’ve started throwing the big items in the freight now without thinking twice. Why? Well, it makes me feel good. I know that sounds a little idiotic, but it does. A) I know that by doing the right thing first, it saves me times, but also B) saves another person times as well (the janitorial staff).
My point? (There is one, I promise.) God wants us to be able to do the minial things to show our servitude. We should be able to wash the feet of our peers (John 13: 1-20), literally or metaphorically. Often times we will go all-out for those tasks that are important and large. We know that when we do them, we might get recognition. But it’s the small details that count! I mentioned this before, but I remember my mom told me that I had to start making sure my room was clean every night before bed once I moved into my new apartment. I tended to let the thing turn into a disaster area during the week — various make up samples on the floor, hair products out from the morning, piles and piles of typed up pages for my book scattered for review, and of course the clothes that I had tried on and failed to put back on the hanger. Trust me, it drove me nuts too, especially because I like things to be clean (and clean looking). She said to me, “Kirbie, how are you going receive bigger blessings when you can’t take on the small task of keeping your room clean?” It’s true. I compare my room to days of the week: Sunday the room was immaculate, much like your Christianity is after church. Monday and Tuesday it was still going strong. Wednesday I’d get too busy and start to leave things out, and I was too tired to clean them up. Thursday and Friday we had Code Red on our hands. And Saturday I would finally have the “time” to fix it all back up again.
But the fact is that it doesn’t take 10 minutes to put clothes on a hanger. It takes five seconds. And it doesn’t take an hour to make my bed, arrange my book notes and put my hairdryer away — it takes five minutes. So then I realized that while I was taking a good two hours to completely clean and deep clean my room on Saturdays (dusting, vaccuuming, laundry, the whole nine yards), I could take 10 minutes a day to make sure my room looked like Sunday, every day. This task is menial in the grand scheme of things, but it’s the right thing to do.
Also, when we do things, we shouldn’t be doing them expecting something in return. I know too many times that I have thought, “I’m doing the right thing. Why am I not reaping any benefits?” Let’s be honest: I can clean my room everyday, but that isn’t going to mean a brick of gold is going to be dumped into my lap. It just means I’m learning something: commitment. Diligence.
God guides our hearts to rid us of selfish motives. We don’t win the lottery instantly just because we give and give and give and give to others! We might not even win the lottery at all. What I’m trying to say is that you do good in the world and do what is right because that’s God’s will for us.
I feel like it’s also important to do those things even when nobody is around. I constantly hear sermons about the “audience of one”: God. He’s always watching. So when you spill water on the floor on your way to your desk, do you leave it for someone else to step in or slip on? For someone else to clean? Or do you go back and get the paper towel? Let me put it this way: what would you do if you spilled the water while your boss was around? You’d definitely clean it up. Why wouldn’t you do that when the big boss upstairs is watching?
In the end, when it comes to what is right, just do it. You’ll feel good about it, I promise.