Thursday, August 11, 2005

Quiet Moments

My days have been so hectic these last few weeks and I am trying desperately to remain calm and patient with myself as I attempt to complete all of the work before me. There are what seem to be pointless and time-wasting tasks and requests around every turn. I want to scream because I feel like I spend my day doing things that mean absolutely nothing and the list of "to do's" keeps getting longer and longer.

Like right now, I am sitting in the front part of my office printing off the backs to the student ID cards. I've been sitting out here and normally what I would do is run back and forth from this computer to the one in my office so that I could do more than one thing at a time (time efficient, right?) but Jimmy, the IT guy is trying to fix something else for me in my office and so I must stay out here. I am limited to one project at a time for right now. I guess this is good because I can sit here and update my bloggie-mcblog and reflect on the last few weeks of my life. I felt like a jerk last week. My mom is here from California for a visit. She surprised me with very little notice and it kind of stressed me out because I know that the next few weeks are really busy and crazy and knowing that mom was sitting at my apartment while I was working would make me feel bad for her, adding more stress to my schedule right now. She was great this last week. She was laid back and encouraging, she offered to come in and help me if I needed it (free labor, right?). She took care of me like only mom can and was totally understanding that I needed to work. She even spoiled me with treats I don't need! Moms are like that. It was really nice to just hang out with her in the evenings, a no pressure visit. I really enjoyed my time with her. So, back to why I felt like a jerk. She offered to do something very nice for me and we were trying to schedule it and I got frustrated because it hit me that the reality of my schedule for the next few weeks was ridiculous. I kind of snapped at her because of it and I feel like a jerk because she was doing something so nice, that she didn't have to do, and I snapped at her. Not because she did anything wrong, but because I was stressed out just thinking about my schedule. For that, I am sorry mom. :( Why do we take things out on people when it's not their fault? Why do I get the snappiest with the people who love me the most? My mom would never do anything intentionally to hurt me. NEVER. Anyway, that is my confession for the week.

To go along with that, as I was sitting here being frustrated about all of the things I need to do, it came to me that I need to be thankful for my job and the role I am able to play in the lives of so many young people. My work may seem tedious right now but the reality is that I get to have amazing interactions with young people who I share my life with as they share theirs. We struggle with each other and teach each other things. I make mistakes in front of them and they do the same. We laugh with each other, cry together, encounter God together. I am so blessed to have this job. The pay is horrible but the rewards are so great. I heard a few weeks ago that one of our recent grads who applied for a job told the interviewers that one of the biggest influences in his life here at Cascade was me! What a compliment! I have watched him struggle, we have fought and cried, laughed a lot. I've fed him, done his laundry, and watched him give an amazing speech at commencement this last year. His path has been a tough one, but God has been faithful to him and now we get to be coworkers! He is getting married in a week and a half. I don't get to go but I am so excited for him. I have to be here meeting new students whom I will be able to invest in the way I invested in him (and he invested in me). I can't say that this would happen at many other places.

It was in the quiet moments of printing ID cards that all of this came to me. My work is not in vein. I am blessed. So, as I return to the seemingly mindless work of preparing for students to arrive back on campus, I think about the great things that happen because of the mundane. My work is for the Lord. I may have helped the one student who God meant for me to influence, but somehow I think there may be more work for me.

Find your quiet moment and reflect on why you do what you do. I bet there are blessings in your mundane, too.