My workday began in the usual fashion of cleaning bathrooms, sweeping floors, taking out trash, and other typical janitorial tasks. Most of us have tasks that we do on a regular basis, whether they are a part of our work or simply a part of our life. For me, the key to keeping the routine tasks from becoming a thing of drudgery is the attitude I approach them with. Yes, I have my moments and sometimes they are longer than moments — such as when it becomes routine to have to turn off lights that have been left on all night — but it is in those times that I especially have to guard my heart and mind to keep the attitude I ought to have. I do that by turning the times of routine into prayer times. And the more mundane the routine tasks are, the more focused my prayer time becomes. My cleaning routine is usually so consistent that I often finish and then second-guess myself about whether I missed something. When I doubt, or don’t remember, I go back and check and so far, every time I had already done the task I wasn’t sure about. I call it auto-pilot mode. Tasks that I need my hands for, but don’t necessarily need a lot of mind presence to accomplish. It is in those morning hours that I can pray and seek God for a proper attitude for the day and listen to His direction for how I ought to serve.
Once the building was ready for the day, I sat down and typed out yesterday’s page before the lessons of the day slipped from my mind. While I pray that these daily pages are an encouragement to those who read them, in reality they are my process of journaling as I am able to both record the lessons God is teaching me and review them when needed. After the page was written, I headed out for a doctor’s appointment. I’ve had a lump on the side of my nose that has been growing for the last few months so I made an appointment to have my doctor look at it. Just to be safe, I stopped at McDonald’s to get some breakfast on my way to the appointment as anything medically related has a tendency to make me pass out, and even more readily if I haven’t eaten recently. After looking at it and calling it some big word cyst, he said he could remove it while I was there. I was glad I had stopped to eat, but warned him that I may take a nap during the procedure. 🙂 After he had numbed up the area and began to work on it, my mind began to mess with my body. There was no pain and I couldn’t really feel what he was doing, but my mind was playing out all the details of all that it thought was likely going on. Long story short, a couple cold washcloths on the forehead managed to avert the passing out but I know I was close.
The drive back to work was an adventure as the wind had become fierce. As I worked in the office the rest of the day putting things away from yesterday’s conference trip and doing inventory while repacking the remaining books, a squirrel was outside at the very top of some small trees eating the fresh buds. As he clung to the tiny branches, he was being waved back and forth in the wind yet managed to maintain his grip and kept on eating what he could find. I kept thinking that eventually it would fling him out of the tree and I would see a squirrel flying past the window, but that never happened. This guy wasn’t going to let anything stop him from feasting on these spring delicacies. As I write today’s page waiting for the building to clear out so I can get the building ready for tomorrow, I’m becoming more aware of the area that the cyst was removed from. I guess I’ll see how it feels by the time the building empties as to whether I do the cleaning tonight or head home and come back early tomorrow.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Sometimes living a lifestyle of prayer is more about maintaining a proper attitude than anything else.
- As with the communication we have with others, prayer ought to take place in a variety of styles and forms as we spend time in conversation with our Father.
- Our work time prayers may look different from our bed time prayers which may look different from our quiet time prayers which may look different from our corporate worship prayers, but that is not only okay, it’s expected.
- When it comes to medical things, my mind can turn simple procedures into major deals. How often do we do that with minor issues in life?
- We ought to pay close attention to the warning signs that God puts into our life to let us know we are close to becoming spiritually unconscious.
- When it comes to feasting on the Word of God, we ought to be so diligent that absolutely nothing can shake us from it.