EM

From Serving Food To Scrubbing Toilets

Yeah, you heard that right. I went from a high esteem to a low esteem all in less than two weeks! A very humbling experience indeed. And I’m gradually learning that the process is gratifying. A new job equals a new perspective.

TRANSITION

With that thought in mind, I’ll tell you how it all came to. I left my dietary job, not by choice. Changes were taking place in my former department which overall played part in putting me in this situation. I placed generic transfers to other departments within the same union and that’s how I got into housekeeping, where I am today. I hope to be there for a decent amount of time or until God changes my plans. Again. I was still working with food services when I got accepted into housekeeping. I was supposed to work both places at the same time but that never ended up happening because it didn’t pass through the union. At almost a month before my contract was completed I was offered my job back in food services since they had re-opened some dietary positions. I hadn’t actually left the department yet, so I was allowed to re-apply. Honestly, the thought was enticing, but I declined for I presumed housekeeping would be a fresh start including many possibilities. And my predictions were correct.

FAITH

I wanted the job in food services, as a dietary aide, for a couple of years now. And after re-applying a third time I landed the role during the summer of 2017. I knew instantly, that the job was an answer to what was meant to be. Then, that same year in the fall, I found out that I would be laid-off in the coming spring! So how come God was ending my plans now? For reasons I couldn’t comprehend at the time and I’m still not fully aware of. But I do know God was telling me, “Hey, I got you out of this for a purpose but I’m still giving you a choice.” The choice was mine; to stay or leave. Be the same or be different. And I understood, in my heart, that no matter which choice I took, change was going to happen. This is where I felt God was drafting me. At this very moment He was reminding me of these good words Paul said, “I don’t mean that I am exactly what God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal. But I continue trying to reach it and make it mine. That’s what Christ Jesus wants me to do. It is the reason he made me his. Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me. I keep running hard toward the finish line to get the prize that is mine because God has called me through Christ Jesus to life up there in heaven,” (Philippians 3:12-14 ERV). It makes sense. The path to take is the path that will lead me closer to God. So, I took a leap of faith, lifted my wings and jumped. No, I flew, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not grow faint,” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV).

DOUBTS

It only took me a month into working for housekeeping when I considered whether I made the right decision. I began contemplating going back to my old job once summer was over. Only now can I differ. If I had declined housekeeping, to keep my food service position, I most likely would have never had the chance to be accepted into housekeeping if I were to re-applied again. If I hadn’t had lost my position as a dietary aide I would have never applied for the position, missing out on the opportunity altogether. So, I assume I’m here to stay, for now.

ON THE JOB

During the years I’ve been in the work-force, within various job opportunities, I only ever had careers in the food industry. (I even went to school to study food). In foid service, when I served trays, people often would say to me directly, “The food is delicious” or “Thank-you for the meal.” They didn’t know that I only assembled the trays, according to each menu, and delivered them to the correct rooms. Besides that, I had no other contact with their food. I couldn’t even tell them the ingredients in it let alone how it taste. But it didn’t matter because people always understood that with food comes great work. Feeding 400 people 3 times daily requires much effort. Yet God fed 5000 people with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish! A miracle! This is my first job where I’m not making something edible. Housekeeping is a different kind of service which I’m beginning to appreciate. It’s a type of service that often goes unrecognized unless there is some mess to clean up. In housekeeping I clean toilets, where people go about and do their business. I’ve cleaned up poop, I’ve stepped in poop. It’s ugly business, I know. I am essentially the maid, or as a young black woman like myself, “the help”. Cleanliness is expected in the modern 1st world country. It’s a standard of living, that if you don’t do, its certainly taboo. Our high standard of hygiene is considered a luxury in less than well off countries. I’ve noticed, while performing my regular cleaning duties, is that the people who are most thankful are the ones who cannot preform the task themselves. I am unsanitary, because of sin, and every time God is constantly cleansing my heart. All the while I am helpless except for a simple “thank-you” will do. Through this recent awareness God is calling me to be powerless so I can see his power. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths strait,” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV). This is submission. Submission creates satisfaction.

MASTERING

As a Christian, God is my administrator. The core value I’ve acquired over the summer of 2018 is, “Servants, obey your masters in everything. Obey all the time, even when they can’t see you. Don’t just pretend to work hard so that they will treat you well. No, you must serve your masters honestly because you respect the Lord. In all the work you are given, do the best you can. Work as though you are working for the Lord, not any earthly master. Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, who will give you what he promised his people. Yes, you are serving Christ. He is your real Master. Remember that anyone who does wrong will be punished for that wrong. And the Lord treats everyone the same,” (Colossians 3:22-25 ERV). It’s not about what I do so much as in who I do it for. For the King Of Kings and Lord Of Lords! With God as my leader I accomplish all things.

PRESENT

So Yes. I went from serving food to scrubbing toilets and where am I now? Right now, I am here. Here is one step closer to being there. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10 KJV).

This is me now,

Emma

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