Man, Rice Krispies can just bring out the worst in me sometimes. I was wiping up crumbs on the floor after breakfast, my knees hard on the laminate floor. Wiping in circles, capturing every stray bit of cereal scattered by tinies eating too fast and then leaping from chairs to help by carrying their own dishes to the dishwasher but – BAM – the bowl hit the floor. I hate Rice Krispies because they’re just terrible to wipe up off the floor, all smear-y and sticky like glue.
And here is how it went, mutter, mutter, muttering under my breath with a few good eye rolls thrown in:
I have a university education.
I used to manage a marketing budget of $14 million.
I used to wear high heels and now I want a latte. A latte!
Will I ever drink my coffee when it’s hot? Never again!
I am smart. Come on!
How did I end up here, wiping floors?
Isn’t there someone else that could be doing this?
Maybe we can get a maid (we can’t afford a maid).
Because I am too good to wipe up the floor.
That’s a job for someone else to do.
Who? I don’t know. Someone other than me.
I am above this kind of menial labour.
Someone not as smart as me, maybe.
Smart people shouldn’t have to clean their own messes up.
We should be free to, I don’t know, think. And maybe create.
Think of important things and do important things
and anything is more important than wiping up Rice Krisipes – AGAIN.
Some small door must have been open in my soul because, I swear to you, I heard the voice of God and it sounded something like this:
Back on my haunches, dishcloth in hand and I’m stung by the socio-economic snobbishness and spoiled-brattiness inherent in that internal 3 minute tirade. I should be humbled not by the work I’m doing but by my own heart. My own selfishness rising up again like somehow I think that I am above my own messes, above living my own life, above the holy work of this. Since when is it not sacred to care for others? Maybe the world would agree with my original tirade but the life I’ve chosen says that the least is where we begin, being a servant is the height of accomplishment.
And maybe it’s not sexy and no one is inspired by me here on my kneecaps wiping up breakfast but now I’m inspired. And it may not always be long heart-to-hearts and great mountaintop moments but the discipline of family is the discipline of servanthood, isn’t it? It’s just as important as the work I do else and outside.
And the truth is that if I meet one more good pastor’s kid with a broken heart and Daddy/Mummy-issues, I may scream so I’ll be here and teach and train and laugh and play and pray because this is my one shot at this thing.
This is not a job for someone else to do, it is sacred because it’s my life and it’s their life and they will remember there was joy here in this family instead of muttering resentment and eye rolling on the kitchen floor after breakfast.