Work was difficult today, with meeting after meeting wearing me down from busy work and negligible decisions to be made. I was pretty stressed out and unfed (as usual) when I caught myself walking down the hall with the most downcast, negative expression. Immediately I decided that to finish the day, I needed to move on with a brighter attitude.
Later on, I had the opportunity to meet with some of my staff, talking about work-related things and just chatting. It was good to hear from them about what had happened during their day and I got a chance I didn't expect. I was talking with one of the house managers who was looking at the pictures on my desk. We got on the topic as I was trying to explain why several of the pics featured my friends in Israelite costumes and dark make-up. The best part was I got to tell her about being here to plant a church. She went to college at BU and grew up Catholic--she said it was "really cool" that I was here doing something like that. We moved on to other conversation, but I was happy to be able to share the other part of my life once again. I hope that conversation can be a part of a long seed-sowing process here.
On the way home I was listening to one of the breakout sessions from Passion06 presented by Tim Hughes. He was talking about being a worship leader, but the talk was applicable nonetheless. One thing really stuck out to me that summed up my day--a quote from John Wesley. Tim Hughes mangled it a little bit, but here's the real quote: "Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn." Some days more than others, it's a challenge to have that enthusiasm, but I keep seeing God show up on those rough days. Inevitably, that's when someone will say how much they appreciate my work or compliment me on my positive attitude. I praise God for undergirding me on those days, for rewarding my enthusiasm. I can see Him at work through me as I pour myself out for others with joy--that can't be of myself and God gets the glory as a result.
I'm glad that we are all on a journey, 'working out our salvation with fear and trembling,' as Paul says. I don't take that to mean we should be afraid of God, but rather know that we can't live this life on our own strength. Today I learned a little bit more about what it means to be His servant and it was worth every bit of stress.