When I was 16 years old and living with my family in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I got my first job at a big Mexican restaurant called Pueblo Viejo. Now, on the totem pole in the restaurant world, there is the manager, the bartender, the waiters, the hosts and hostesses, the busboys, and then below them, at the very bottom of the chain, there are the expeditors. That’s what I was. In addition to taking food out to people’s tables, I was the “grunt” who got stuck with all the unpleasant tasks like cleaning the bathrooms and the kitchen. I will never forget one night, after working long and hard to get the kitchen spotless (which was a big job with all the grease, lard, and masa flour), a waiter came in and hurriedly slammed down a plate of cheesy beans and rice, which then spilled all over the freshly-mopped floor! Once he realized what had happened, he looked at me with that “good luck” gaze and quickly left; the manager did the same thing. In that moment, many emotions were fighting to overtake me. Though I had often felt taken advantage of and ignored in my role, this “took the cake.” Thankfully, I had been internalizing some really great teaching during that season of my life about the importance of thoughts and the value of doing work to the glory of God. So, as much as I wanted to retaliate or be passive aggressive, I decided to stay calm and remember that my labor belonged to Jesus. I said, “Lord, I’m just going to clean it for you.” Thus began a powerful shift in my thinking that changed my life for the better moving forward. I went home with peace in my heart, slept well, and forgot about it the next day.
Friend, when you feel stuck in a situation that is unfair or unjust, I urge you to give it to the Lord and trust Him to fight for you. No matter what unpleasant tasks lie before you, you can do them for His glory! In fact, when you shift your thinking and make it all about Jesus, you will change for the better, because everything you undertake in your day-to-day life will become an act of worship. The One who is over all and in all and through all can make every grunt glorious and every task a testimony! Isn’t that wonderful news?