the story room

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cleanliness and Godliness

This summer, I'm working full-time for the maintenance department at Trinity. It's a fun job, actually: cleaning and re-cleaning dorm rooms.

Since my first day at work, I've had a phrase that keeps running through my mind. It's a phrase that I'm not even fond of, but it echoes in my mind every day nonetheless: "Cleanliness is next to godliness."

I don't like the phrase because I think it implies that uncleanliness is equal to ungodliness...and I don't like to make such sweeping judgments anyway. I hope I never hear myself say that phrase and mean it, but since I've been working this job, I've actually become sympathetic to what it might mean.

Whether or not the phrase is actually true, though, I'm learning things at work that are seeping into my life and (hopefully!) making me more like Christ.

I've worked in rooms that have been abused throughout the year, and I've learned that taking care of and maintaining something is an expression of gratefulness. It's a way to remember that what we've been entrusted with is a gift, and it honors God to treat it as such.

I'm learning that when a task needs to be done, it doesn't help to think about how much I don't want to do it, or how much I dislike doing it. Doing challenging jobs ungrudgingly not only makes them more bearable...they even sometimes become fun. (It's freeing, in a way, to not think so often about myself and all my likes and dislikes. Life, after all, is not all about me.)

I'm learning to be more positive and to pass up opportunities to complain.

I've been seeing my work as a way to give to people. Even in challenging rooms, I make it a point to pray for the people who just moved out. And I do my best to prepare an environment that will be clean and welcoming to the people who will move in in the fall. Even though most people probably won't think of the work I did (or even know that I did it), I hope it will be a gift to them.

And I'm learning that all these things need to carry over into the rest of my life as well.

I'm grateful for this job and the opportunities I have to work hard and learn along the way.

2 Comments:

Blogger Bekah said...

Cleanliness and Godliness are not directly related, I agree. I am very excited that we are working maintenance together.

22 June, 2006 09:04  
Blogger Steve said...

I'm learning that when a task needs to be done, it doesn't help to think about how much I don't want to do it, or how much I dislike doing it. Doing challenging jobs ungrudgingly not only makes them more bearable...they even sometimes become fun. (It's freeing, in a way, to not think so often about myself and all my likes and dislikes. Life, after all, is not all about me.)Erin, this is a wonderful lesson, a lesson I am only too slowly learning. I have been working on it this summer as I've worked around the house. Thanks for putting this lesson into words.

27 June, 2007 22:47  

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