Doing the Dishes

“Everybody wants to change the world, but nobody wants to do the dishes.”

I’ve used that quote in the past (perhaps smugly), but until recently, I didn’t really realize what it meant.

I, like you, have done dozens of those personality tests: I’m an extrovert; I’m an “otter”; I’m a sanguine/phlegmatic. For some personalities, when you’re sitting in meetings planning things, you want to make sure everything is in order before you take the first step. After all, if you start off in the wrong way, it’ll just be more work in the long run, right?

Not so with me. As soon as you say, “We should do such and such,” I’m out the door doing it, for good or bad.

Last year, my team was made up of about 12 people; so much of the “planning tasks” fell to other people. Meanwhile, I was out meeting new students and talking to them about Jesus. It was amazing for me because I was doing what I love to do and am good at, while these other important tasks were also getting done.

This year, with a team of four, however, I find myself doing many of these tasks that were being done by other team members last year. And, to be honest, I don’t really like it. If you really want to know the truth, I was throwing myself a little pity party, thinking, “I’m not spending as much time with students as last year. I’m wasting my time doing these ‘administrative tasks.’ Boohoo.”

Then God—you know how He does it—reminded me of that quote. He gently sat me down, put His hand on my shoulder, and flicked me in the forehead. “Scott, the real reason you don’t want to be doing these other tasks isn’t because they’re unimportant, but because they make you feel unimportant. You shouldn’t do these things so that people back in America will think you’re something special; you do them because you love Me.”

I want to change the world. But Jesus is reminding me—reminding us—that we need to do the inglorious things, the things that are out of the spotlight, the things that aren’t going to get medals and ribbons and stories in the newspaper, because those things are just as needed.

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2 comments

  1. I can really relate, Scott! I know it is always nicer when there are more people, along with their strengths and gifts, to spread those things around to! I love how “dishes” are something different for everyone. I am so glad you are being sensitive to the guiding of the Lord. Many would just dismiss it and go on with their pity party!

  2. Life has so many lessons to learn and God is guiding you through. Another blessing you are learning is to more thoroughly appreciate those who do the “administrative tasks”. I love you and I am so proud of the wonderful person you have become.
    Mom

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