On my first day of training as a hotel housekeeper, I was unprepared. A sleepless night had left me tense and scatterbrained. After clocking in, I met an older woman who would train me that day. Her name was Sarah.*
Sarah's short gray-hair had a little wave to it. Smile lines graced her face, and kind blue eyes, partially hidden behind glasses, welcomed me. A fellow housekeeper, she wore the uniform of black pants and shoes, topped with a faded teal short-sleeved shirt. She had a peace about her that drew me.
She asked me about myself and how I was doing. Learning that I was a Christian, she smiled knowingly and told me to sit on a dresser while she demonstrated how I was to make beds there. I gladly sat and watched her. As she smoothed clean sheets and blankets over the bed, tucked them in tight at the end, spread the bedspread over it and stuffed the pillows in clean cases, she sang a hymn.
It was Come, We That Love the Lord. I loved the joyful chorus:
“We're marching to Zion, Beautiful beautiful Zion!
We're marching upward to Zion, The beautiful city of God!”
Her peace, joy, and confidence soothed me, and our friendship began. I learned that Sarah truly lived this hymn. She had given up a stressful nursing career to just have a job instead. The status of having a career no longer mattered to her.
And, she trusted God to meet her needs with the income she had, plus help from her grown children. Focused on living to serve her Lord, she was a Christian first and a worker second, striving to be a witness on the job.
We can be a good witness at work too, according to the apostle Paul, by our attitudes toward the employer and the way we do our work. Whether he is a believer or not, we should honor God by viewing that person with great respect and doing our very best. (1 Tim. 6:1,2 KJV) Because, others are observing us.
Others were closely watching Timothy as well, a young bishop of the church in Ephesus. He needed strong encouragement from the apostle Paul to stand up to the evil temptations of that city, and be a good shepherd for his flock.
One of those temptations was the lust of riches. They can ensnare us. But, we can escape by keeping God first: treasuring things that won't rust, fade or decay. My friend, Sarah, was investing in eternal things by following Jesus and ministering to people she met.
The apostle Paul commanded Timothy to “follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called," (1 Tim. 6:11,12 KJV).
I can't say that I am always victorious in living up to this calling. But, I'd like to be. This list of goals are God's purpose for us. It's easy to forget to pray, and depend on ourselves instead.
God wants us to pursue doing what is right, be like Jesus, trust him, love as he loves. Be patient, and humble. None of these things are possible without God's help. Paul's words, “Fight the good fight of faith,” remind us that we are in a spiritual war.
When we are victorious over temptations, we can please God. This is living a life that “lay[s] hold on eternal life”, laying up treasures in heaven. Reminding ourselves whom we serve can keep us motivated to faithfully live for our Lord Jesus Christ until he returns. I want to please him, and I've found that living for Jesus' smile as I work makes it rewarding.
Jesus is our King, the one “who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light, which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen,” (1 Tim. 6:16 KJV).
He is the One we'll see in Zion!
* This name was changed to protect privacy.