Do you ever get tasked to do things that you wish you'd never have been tasked to do? I never really liked picking up dog poop or emptying the cat litter box, but when you have pets someone has to have the task! That stuff just cannot be ignored! I remember one time thinking it would just be okay to let the dog poop act as 'natural fertilizer' in the yard, thinking it would be nothing all that bad to just run the lawn mower over it instead of picking it up that week. That might not be so bad with the 'really dry pile', but it doesn't work so well with the 'wetter' ones! Now, while life isn't always like piles of poop in your yard, there are things in life that comes as 'tasks' that we want to ignore, put off, or just plain shift to another person. We don't want to deal with them and it shows in our attitude, but eventually it will also show in the 'fragrance' that begins to emanate from our lives!
The key to every task we are give is to remember we don't do it to serve man - we do it to serve God! There is a huge shift in attitude that comes when we remember this truth. Last night I found myself at the point of just being kind of tired of dealing with mom's resistance. If you have ever dealt with an elder who gets into the nighttime 'sun-downer' phases of life, you know there can be some pretty unreasonable things that they imagine to be true. For mom, it is thinking she is not at home - she needs to go home and the nightgown I attempt to put on her is not her own, so she will not wear it. Now, that may not seem all that unreasonable and like a 'normal human being' should be able to work through that issue, but when the task is at hand at the end of a very long day, it is sometimes harder than you might think! I found myself walking away for about ten minutes, leaving her to think through the need to change her clothes in order to ready herself for bed. In time, she was calling out for me to come back, and she announced, "Okay, we will do it your way."
It wasn't 'my way' or 'her way' that was the real question. It was my attitude toward her that I need to make clear - at that moment in time when she was resisting all the 'good things' I was trying to do for her, it was my attitude that needed the check. I needed to refocus and remember I am doing this for God, not for my mom, or because I promised my dad I'd look after her when he was gone from this earth. Yes, it is tough sometimes and it gets to be long hours, requiring repetition and continual reminders for her. Yes, it challenges my endurance with limited hours of sleep, continually mounting care needs, and even long days of just trying to manage her life when she is not able to do so. Yet, the reward is so much greater than the 'tasks' I have to perform. I look into those eyes when she has those more lucid moments of recognizing me, reaching out and holding my hand, and telling me she loves me and my heart just melts. I know she knows she isn't always at her best and I know she appreciates what is done for her.
God's best isn't always the easiest to display in our lives because human nature sometimes rises up and wants to demand a little easier path. The easy path isn't always the most rewarding one, though. The task at hand for you may be hard right now, but if you keep in mind that you are accomplishing that task in God's power and with his grace, you won't ever be disappointed that you stuck with the task! Just sayin!