How far will we take, “I am the bondslave of Christ”? How seriously will we take the idea of stewardship vs. ownership?
I’m still processing my walkthrough with the lady who cleans the church (N). Two hours of hearing her talk about doing it right for Jesus – and two hours of watching her get down on her hands and knees to realign the dirt-catching rugs in front of the doors and retie the trashbags in the trashcans so they were not just tied, but tied perfectly.
I’ve said before that I’m anything but a perfectionist – I get frustrated or tired and I’m just ready to be done. I don’t mind taking pains to get things right, but taking pains and seeing the thing I worked so hard on get messed up? Drives me bonkers. Yes, of course I clean my own house – it’s my job. But I don’t perfectionist clean anything except when I’m Spring Cleaning. It’s only going to get dirty again.
But. Over and over and over, you know what N said? That she wanted the church cleaned perfectly because it was being cleaned for Jesus. When we left the bathrooms, she said she wanted those bathrooms clean enough that if Jesus came, she didn’t have to stop Him and say, “just a minute while I fix this up for You”, she wanted things that way all the time. Why? Because this church didn’t belong to *her* – or to me. It belongs to Jesus.
But so do I. And thus, so does everything I “have”. Nothing really belongs to me, does it? I’m a steward over everything that God has given to me. So, properly, I should keep everything maintained perfectly… but when I (to be brutally honest) focus on the physical things in my life, I forget to take care of the non physical.
This hangs with something else I’ve been confronting – where do I get my approval? I was telling my husband what I’d done when he got home from work the other day, detailing every little task that got completed, and he turned to me and said, “Honey – you don’t have to tell me that you worked hard today”. Mrph. What do I do with that? I want some messy combination of being approved (“Good girl! Worked hard! Nice job!”) and to prove that I respect *his* hard work (“Good girl! Worked hard just like me! Nice job!”). And he doesn’t want me to tell him about reorganizing the bookshelves. Even if it DID take three hours. So I guess my physical work isn’t for him. (Okay, unless I weed the roses.) Is it for me? Is it just … stuff?
How do I direct my tasks? If I focus on the physical because I can see it and feel it and touch it and get approval from it… I am unable to give energy to the non-physical. If I tell myself that I really needed to spend that time taking a nap and a bath, ’cause I need to be at my best, how long until I’m lounging and eating bon-bons?
Who am I trying to please? How do I unplug myself from the desire to please myself (because approval-seeking behavior ultimately is about pleasing myself) and let go to please God alone?
Who owns me?