Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

20 October 2013

Thankful for those who serve us in unbelievably kind ways

My 8 year old went on
this one.  Crazy.
Every year, at about this time, our suburb plays host to an annual show - like a mini-version of the royal show.  There's a side show alley with dodgem cars, laughing clowns and enough rides to keep small and big kids happy, show bags, log chopping, animals on display, all sorts of exhibits, fast food, fairy floss and fireworks at the end of the day.  And it happens a block away from our house - so parking isn't a problem.  (Although sometimes it can be hard to get OUT of our driveway...)

The show committee outsources various roles - set up, pack up, clean up and lots more besides - to community groups, which is great for the community.  For the last four or five years our church has been fortunate enough to score the cleaning gig.  That is, we get to keep the tables clean and the rubbish under control in the food alley and we clean the toilets right around the showgrounds.  (And yes, to put your mind at rest, we do run separate rosters for the tables and the toilets...)

Fortunate?  Yes.

We love to do these jobs, grotty as they are, because doing this sort of work together is a bonding experience.    More so, it gives us an opportunity to serve the community.  We try to do the work joyfully and properly.  It's a great gospel opportunity. 

And I am personally glad to do this work.  Until this year I have been on the table cleaning roster.  Sometimes I've received a warm comment of appreciation.  Most people just ignore us and get on with their eating and having their fun.  Lots of people leave their dead chips, hamburger mess, soggy serviettes and other rubbish on the tables, even though there are rubbish bins just three steps away.  Once someone saw me cleaning the table next door, swept all of their rubbish from the table onto the ground and said to his buddies, "That's OK...she'll pick it up.  It's her job." 

This year I was on the toilet cleaning roster.  We keep on the go.  Each block of toilets is probably cleaned once every half hour or so...so they don't ever get too bad.  But cleaning high use public toilets is never going to be all that much fun. 

I am glad to do these jobs at the show.  I am glad because I only have to do them for a few hours once a year.  But every year it reminds me that there are wonderful people in our community who do awful jobs like this every single day.  They do grotty work and are ignored at best, more often though treated poorly.  This weekend I have been reminded to be grateful, show gratitude whenever the opportunity arises and live considerately.  There are people in our community who serve us in unbelievably kind ways.

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