Erica and the Silverware

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…” Colossians 3:23

Six-year-old Erica came to me as I was busily chopping vegetables at the kitchen sink asking, “Mom can I help you make dinner?” Since she wasn’t yet tall enough to see over the counter I declined her offer but suggested, “You could set the table; that would be a big help.”

Unhappy with my response she pouted. She wanted to help cook. She wanted to do something she enjoyed, something she felt was important. Setting the table wasn’t anything important.

Over the years I’ve reflected on this incident. How I wanted to do “great things” for You Lord. How I wanted to share Your love with those who don’t know You (in the forum of my choice), to encourage those who know You to get to know You better, to be salt to them, to help them realize their constant thirsting is not for more things, but for more of You: the only One who can quench the thirst, satisfy the longings, fill the gaping void.

But the time hadn’t yet arrived. I was still in “wait training.” You were, in effect, asking me to set the table. So with sad resignation (sometimes accompanied by a pout), I accepted the task immediately before me and “set the table.”

As I think about Erica’s unhappy response that night I cannot help but think how I would have been blessed by a cheerful, “Yes Mommy, I’ll set the table for you!” If with a willing, positive attitude she had agreed to help in the way I asked.

How many times has my own pouting brought sadness (and probably frustration) to Your heart? Often I cannot see the value in doing the little things, things which seem to be of “lesser” importance. Now I realize that cheerful, humble obedience to the task in front of me, as insignificant as that task may seem to me, blesses Your heart. And blessing Your heart is definitely the more “important” thing.

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