Nothing to show for it?

I haven’t written in a while because I thought I had “nothing to write home about.”  It’s been a week of mostly administrative duties.  Making phone calls, answering emails, writing up session minutes, planning worship services, filling out Excel spreadsheets, and making other reports.  It’s tempting to wonder, “what is the value in all of this?  For the better part of a work week, I’ve done all this work and I have nothing to show for it.”

This is really the essence of most of our service.  Our service mostly consists in routine, mundane, repeatable tasks that are more noticed if they are omitted than if they are completed.  There really isn’t much excitement in this.  It’s tempting to say that such duties don’t matter.  They tend to be urgent, but not significant in the long term.

However, they are important to the people whom we serve.  In my case, our church would continue to operate.  Cemeteries are full of people who thought that they were indispensable!  But life would be a little harder for others who serve in the church who perform low-visibility, high anonymity tasks.

So, what do we have to show for such work?  Hopefully, the enrichment of the lives of those whom we serve.  In the best case, such service enriches relationships.  It removes obstacles for getting “the important things” done.

At home, cooking, cleaning, and laundry are such tasks.  I do know a few people who seem to “live to cook,” but nobody lives to do laundry, wash dishes or clean the house.  While these tasks may not be significant in themselves, having them done greatly enhances the other portions of our lives.

So, no matter what tasks are committed to you, you can set  yourself free to do all the good that you can, knowing that even if you aren’t thanked for them, you enrich the lives of others through your dedicated service, even if you have “nothing to show for it.”

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