I am at work today. I am a working mom. I am a 5th grade public school teacher and the children’s pastor at my church. These titles are both new to me. I have a schedule and responsibilities and people who depend on me for things to run smoothly. I don’t mind change really, but coming in as the new girl, I am more hesitant to jump in and switch everything up. I don’t want to be known as the pot stirrer man. I want to come in and be known as the girl who fixed the things that were inefficient and made great the things that were good. Also, I want my uniform to involve a cape.
After thinking it through with the brain God assigned me, I figured the best way to do my job is through love. If my goal as an educator is to love others, and my goal as a children’s pastor is to love others, and my goal as someone who shares an office with others is to love, and my goal in every relationship is to love first, I am golden. Jesus said so.
He came into a situation where everyone was on the defense because they didn’t understand what he was about. And when they realized what he was about, most people were convinced he was going about it all the wrong way. My work is nothing compared to what Jesus came to accomplish, but the approach has to be the same. Love God, Love others.
On the surface, it looks differently in each situation, but not really. It means being full of grace for each person no matter their status in our eyes. Removing our expectations and only having the conviction that God is going to be glorified in our every word, step, and thought.
Really it looks like what Paul talked about in Galatians, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” It’s Jesus’ LAW that we bear with one another. When I start my day and ask my coworkers to bear with me while I get familiar with our rules and procedures and policies, I am actually asking them to carry my burdens and mistakes until I can stand on my own. Then, I have to do it back. I have to bear with them while we are learning to work together.
In other situations, it acts differently, but it is the same. Team mom? Bearing with your parents and realizing that there are more important things in the big picture than bringing snack on time. Mentoring girls who sometimes make the same mistake and then hit “replay for days” (who doesn’t?) In ministry at church or at a fundraiser for a great cause? Sometimes moms need to show up late because their child or children needed some real face time before rushing off to church. Bearing with them in grace. Covering their responsibilities WITH A SMILE. Ooh, that last part is often the part where I stumble.
I left Costco the other day, and as I approached the light at the top of a pretty steep hill, I saw a big brother riding beside his younger brother on their bikes. They looked to be about eight and 12. Big Brother had his hand on Little Brother’s back, pushing him as he struggled to make it up the hill. It was at the height of the hottest part of the day, and he was literally bearing this physical burden. Their bikes had to be very close to one another, which implies a level of trust between the two of them, not just one way. The best part? They were both laughing. Big Brother was smiling and happy to help.
I want to be this kid when I grow up. I want to bear with others and smile while I walk along side them or fill in or carry their burdens. I want to pour out so much grace that I catch myself laughing as I serve alongside others. This won’t be easy, but if a 12 year old can set this example, just maybe I can make some steps in the right direction.