Archive for May, 2011
When I arrived at 6 a.m. in the large hospital kitchen, Rose was already checking name tags on the trays against the patient roster. Stainless steel shelves held rows of breakfast trays which we would soon be serving.
"Hi, I’m Janet." I tried to sound cheerful, although I already knew Rose’s reputation for being impossible to work with. "I’m scheduled to work with you this week."
Rose, a middle-aged woman with graying hair, stopped what she was doing and peered over her reading glasses. I could tell from her expression she wasn’t pleased to see a student worker.
"What do you want me to do? Start the coffee?"
Rose sullenly nodded and went back to checking name tags. I filled the 40-cup pot with cold water and began making the coffee when Rose gruffly snapped, "That’s not the way to make coffee." She stepped in and took over. "I was just doing it the way our supervisor showed us to do it," I said in astonishment.
"The patients like the coffee better the way I do it," she replied curtly. Nothing I did pleased her. All morning her eagle eyes missed nothing and her sharp words stung. She literally trailed me around the kitchen. Later, after breakfast had been served and the dishes had been washed, I set up my share of trays for the next meal. Then I busied myself cleaning the sink. Certainly Rose couldn’t criticize the way I did that. When I turned around, there stood Rose, rearranging all of the trays I had just set up!
Totally exhausted, I trudged the six blocks home from the University of Minnesota Hospital late that June afternoon. As a third year university student working my way through school, I had never before encountered anyone like Rose. Fighting back tears, I wrestled with my dilemma alone in my room.
"Lord, what do you want me to do? I can’t take much more of Rose." I turned the possibilities over in my mind. Should I see if my supervisor would switch me to work with someone else? Scheduling was fairly flexible. On the other hand, I didn’t want to be a quitter. I knew my older co-workers were watching to see if my actions matched my words. The answer to my prayer caught me completely by surprise… I needed to love Rose.
Love her? No way! Tolerate, yes, but loving her was impossible. "Lord, I can’t love Rose. You’ll have to do it through me." Working with Rose the next morning, I ignored the barbs thrown in my direction and did things Rose’s way as much as possible to avoid friction. As I worked, I silently began to surround Rose with a warm
blanket of prayers. "Lord, help me love Rose. Lord, bless Rose." Over the next few days an amazing thing began to happen. As I prayed for this irritating woman, my focus shifted from what she was doing to me, and I started seeing Rose as the hurting person she was. The icy tension began to melt away.
Throughout the rest of the summer, we had numerous opportunities to work together. Each time she seemed genuinely happy to see me. As I worked with this lonely woman, I listened to her… something no one else had done. I learned that she was burdened by elderly parents who needed her care, her own health problems, and an alcoholic husband she was thinking of leaving. The days slipped by quickly as I finished the last several weeks of my summer job. Leaves were starting to turn yellow and red, and there was a cool, crispness in the air. I soon would be returning as a full-time university student.
One day, while I was working alone in one of the hospital kitchens, Rose entered the room. Instead of her blue uniform, she was wearing street clothes. I looked at her in surprise. "Aren’t you working today?"
"I got me another job and won’t be working here no more," she said as she walked over and gave me a quick hug. "I just came to say good-bye." Then she turned abruptly and walked out the door. Although I never saw Rose again, I still remember her vividly. That summer I learned a lesson I’ve never forgotten. The world is full of people like Rose… irritating, demanding, unlovable – yet hurting inside. I’ve found that love is the best way to turn an enemy into a friend.
"Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don’t be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked."
Luke 6:35 (NLT)
- Author Unknown
Today, when you awoke… What was your first thought?
Was it "Oh God! It’s Morning"
Or was your first thought "Thank you God, for another wonderful day"
If you’re like most of us, your morning starts off with an alarm clock waking you. Just like in the fire house when the alarm goes off… You race to get 100 things done in 3 minutes so you can race out the door and on your way.
You’re probably like most of us, you have a day full of too much to do and not enough time to do it all in. Always racing through the day, distracted a few times, but almost always, feeling overwhelmed at the tasks at hand. You glance up at the clock only to realize that the day is gone, not enough is done, and your to do list has gotten longer. Sound all too familiar?
Can you wake up 5 minutes earlier tomorrow?
Take a few minutes to pray and thank God for another wonderful day… before we start your day. Would your day be any different?
I ask all of this because I wonder what it really is that you seek for your life…
A closer walk with God?
A focus on making your life better and your final trip home to heaven?
Or a "to do" list a mile long and only 12 hours to get half of it done?
What you seek in and for your life, is what you will become. Think about it. Your focus is what drives you throughout your day.
Is your focus on God and Heaven?
Tomorrow, start you day a few minutes earlier. Start off your morning with your focus on God, the wonderful gift of another day and watch how much more you get done in the "calm" of HIS embrace.
Heaven, Angels and God await you. Your final destination is Heaven. This place you are now, is just a place for your brief visit. Like a hotel room, long forgotten after you’ve gone home.
Enjoy your visit today and remember to take the time to catch your breath and enjoy your day.
True love, as found in the Bible, is not the same as the common usage found in the English language and society. Today, what I think you’ll find, is that what people think true love is, most often is confused with infatuation. That elated, "high" feeling they feel when they "fall in love." That kind of "love" is something that typically lasts less than a year, and unless replaced by true love, results in broken relationships. They break up and then they start the process all over again. In a search for a constant "love" high.
The Bible talks about love:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
I Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
To me, that defines true love. The "real" love God has for us. These great "love" qualities can be found in a Christian, and I believe that they are the foundation in all true loving relationships. What happens so often today, is that people get caught up in "societies" values when trying to "find" love in their dating lives. What they should be looking for is "Godly" values. All too often, they don’t look for these great "Christian" characteristics. They look at physical appearance, popularity, or wealth. The values that society teaches us are important. I don’t believe that these are the qualities that God looks at in us… So, why would you look for these characteristics in someone?
These values so highly favoured by society, will not bring you a person of commitment or someone who will work hard at love. A person with these characteristics will work hard at physical appearance, popularity and wealth.
If you want true love. If you want to experience God’s love in your life. Look for a person full of "God’s" love. A person with Godly values and characteristics.