“They won’t take it if it’s overflowing. You need to move the trash to the other dumpster.”
I stared down at the text message on my phone in a brief moment of incredulity. I realized that I was going to have to go into the dumpster and pull out trash bags, then haul them across the street on a cart.
The trash at the church wasn’t picked up the previous week because it was just barely more full than they allow. A week later, the trash was out of control. I’m confident people were attempting to recreate the Tower of Babel in the dumpster.
“Are you freaking serious?” I thought to myself. I was not a happy camper.
Just last week I took on some additional responsibilities at church. I’ve taken over facilities, which means I keep the campus and buildings clean and fix minor problems as they arise.
Facilities aren’t exactly my “spiritual gift” but we needed someone to fill in for awhile and I could use the extra hours since I’m only part time right now. Plus, I have a servant’s heart so I figured this would be a breeze.
That is until I had to deal with garbage juice.
I went inside to find the latex gloves I use to clean the bathrooms. Most of the garbage bags were wet and disgusting so I decided to go in prepared.
What I didn’t realize until half way through the process of hauling out the already-disposed-of trash was that these gloves were about as strong as plastic wrap.
As I loaded up the first cart of trash and began rolling it across the street to the larger dumpster, I looked down and realized that the gloves had ripped open. Garbage juice had seeped in and my hands were all wet.
Few things will test your ability to serve like soaking your hands in garbage juice. So when I consider the fact that Jesus came to earth to serve (Matt 20:28), it sounds absolutely ridiculous.
I was reading Philippians 2 this week and the phrase “let this mind be in you” stuck out to me. Paul was framing the humility of Jesus as He came to us and made Himself of no reputation.
I mean God literally came down from heaven, dwelt among us and spent the majority of His time on earth serving people.
He didn’t just get garbage juice on His hands, He washed the disciples nasty, dirty, funky feet. I don’t even like to look at dirty feet!
Jesus never needed to hear a “Thank you”. Jesus never needed reciprocation. Jesus never complained. He served out of an overflow of love.
So I have a new perspective when Paul says in verse 14 to “do all things without complaining“. He’s basically saying, every time you want to complain about serving others, think about the God of creation making Himself of no reputation and letting people kill Him on a cross. All for the sake of love.
Every time I serve, I have an opportunity to be like Jesus. Not by what I do but by how I do it. When I do something without complaining or requiring reciprocation, I’m serving with a servant’s heart not just a servant’s hands.
And that’s what He’s after, isn’t it? Not just the hands but the heart.
Do you struggle with doing things without complaining?
How do you keep the right perspective?