Friday, April 10, 2015

The Hampster Wheel

Maddie dropped another slimy spoonful of gravy onto the waiting plate.

Oh, the joy.

She tried not to gag as the gelatin-like gravy quivered but retained it's ladle shape. The old man moved away smiled gratefully, and she continued to serve the homeless people in the line for the next hour.

A replacement volunteer tapped her on the shoulder. "Your shift is over."

Sighing in relief, Maddie handed him the ladle and relinquished her apron. It wasn't that she didn't like helping them. She just wondered if spooning out wobbly gravy made a difference.

As she walked to her car, she saw the old man from the soup kitchen line. He was sitting on a bench, hands folded, head bowed. For a moment Maddie wondered if he was dead. He looked up just then, smiled when he saw her, and began waving frantically.

Maddie hesitated, but then walked over to see the old man for a moment. "Hello."

"Hello, young lady. I just wanted to thank you for serving me today."

Maddie was taken a little off guard. That was so sweet! "Thank you." She gave a little wave, and was about to walk off when she noticed that the man's windbreaker was torn and ratty.

She pointed to his exposed arm. "You must be freezing."

"Oh, no. I'm fine."

Maddie shook her head. "No. Take my coat." She had slipped out of it before she had finished speaking. It was a hand-me-down from her older brother. Certainly used, but definitely warm. "Please take it."

His expression was downright angelic. "Thank you, dear. God bless you."

Maddie bid him farewell, but turned around at the sound of his voice. "It does make a difference, Maddie. It makes all the difference."

Except he wasn't there anymore. He had disappeared.

Maddie rubbed the chill from her sweater clad arms. What had just happened?

Hey guys! I hope you've all been well, and that God has BLESSED you tremendously! :)

So. Have you ever felt like Maddie? Like all you do is for naught? It's a pretty easy to trip and fall into that pit. Life just gets overwhelming. Cycles and routines are formed. Life becomes a series of events that you MUST DO.

Or else.

It's like the hamster running in that annoying squeaky wheal.

My alarm goes off. I smash the snooze button in an attempt to get a few more minutes of shut eye. The cat starts to bat my face because she heard the alarm go off, and you know what that means.

"Time to feed me, human!"

After shielding my face for the hundredth time, I drag myself out of bed to fed the cats, post blogs, read my Bible, and get ready for work. Nine-ish hours later I return home to write or work on more blogs, eat dinner, and collapse into bed.

Rinse and repeat. Over and over. Running and jogging, and I have got to tell you guys that isn't easy. I'm out of shape. (That's what happens when you are a writer, and your brain food is double-stuffed Oreos.)

The days seem to quick. The nights are over in minutes. There just isn't enough time, and you don't feel like anything is getting done. What difference have I made? All the while, that stupid wheal squeaks underneath me, irking me more.

Because I'm on the wheel, focused on what I need to do. It's a cycle, and sometimes I forget what I working towards.

And no, I don't mean my career in general. I'm working towards showing the light of Jesus in my life. My day is about the person in a foreign country (that forbids God's Word) who reads a blog I wrote to survive another day. It's about the kids and teens in the youth group who listen to my crazy lessons. It's about the scared and nervous person who is new to the area, and how they calm down when I offer a smile and friendship. My day is about so much more then I give it credit.

It is worth it. What I do, does make a difference.

"'For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" Matthew 25:35-40

Every time you work at a soup kitchen, give away your coat, or visit the sick, you make a difference. God sees it, and He will bless you for it. Those little things in your day matter. All the hearts you are touching, directly touch God's heart.

Don't give up friends! Keep doing what you're doing! Keep living for God! Keep showing His love to the least of these.

I just really love this song, guys! And it goes with today's thought. :)

See you guys on April 20th!

V. Joy Palmer

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