During my “college years” I worked as a front desk clerk at a Super 8 Motel near my home. It wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds. It doesn’t sound glamorous to you? Exactly.
Saying that I hated this job would be inaccurate. Saying that the job was uninspiring would be accurate. Occasionally the work was fast-paced and there was a great sense of urgency. Occasionally my shift went by as slowly as cold molasses and it felt like my life was being drained from me. It was a job that provided me a paycheck and that is all.
Or at least that is what I thought until I thought about it a little more. (I know that there is such a thing as a double negative, but does the same thing apply to the word “thought?” I hope not.)
My job at Super 8 also provided me with some very valuable lessons. Here are a few things I learned via my time there:
1. Multitasking sometimes stinks, but it is sometimes necessary. I learned this by occasionally having to monitor the front desk, answer incoming calls, and un-stop toilets simultaneously. In case you’re wondering, this is not a lot of fun. Unless you like poop. And if you like poop, please stop reading this blog. There are too many weirdos who read this blog already. (Just kidding–s0rt of.)
2. A lot of people lie. I already knew this, but I didn’t realize that almost everyone will lie in order to save a few bucks. Like the guy who rented 4 rooms and said that there would be 2 people to each room and when I went by the rooms later that night there were approximately 47 people in each room.
3. In general, we don’t know as much as we think we do. Customer upon entering the lobby: “Did you leave the light on for me?” Me: “That’s Motel 6.” Customer: “Are you sure?” Me: “Yes.” Customer: “Really..I’m sure I heard that on one of your commercials.” Me: “I’m sure and I’m also sure that my name isn’t Tom Bodett.”
4. Silence is beautiful. While working the 11pm-7am shift it would sometimes become amazingly silent and astoundingly still. In these moments I would often ponder the depth of God’s love and grace to me, a mere sinner seeking to know Him more fully. This was beautiful.
For a while, I spent far too much time focusing on the negative parts of my time at Super 8 Motel. Thankfully I finally was able to see the positives.
Similarly, in my life I have spent far too much time focusing on the negative aspects of church. There are plenty of things that us church goers do wrong; plenty of things that we could improve upon.
Yes–we need to improve. But improvement will only come if we quit complaining about our shortcomings and begin actually working on them.
What difference does it make if we do the right thing? After all, there are many more who do not and who may never.
My answer–change has to start somewhere.
It may as well start with us.
What are some terrible jobs that you have had in the past and what are some lessons you learned as a result?
What are some changes that the church needs to make and what are you doing about it?