Saturday, February 11, 2006

My boss is a Jewish carpenter

My day started badly yesterday. I'm generally a good morning person but I woke up from a really bad point in my sleep cycle and was just grumpy. It didn't help that as I looked at the day ahead of me, I was going to have to confront a co-worker, I was still feeling a little betrayed by what the co-worker had done, I had several meeting all stacked up on each other, which I knew would get crazy and, although I had plans to have lunch with a friend, I was going to have to rush that lunch to get back for the stacked-up meetings.

I was not in a very productive mood when I got to work.

It's tough for me when I'm not in a productive mood at work because, frankly, I work for Jesus. And I don't really have any sort of supervisor to put the fear of Jesus in me. I have to rely fully on my own moral fibre so that I don't waste Jesus's time by surfing the internet when I just don't have the creative energy to pull together some document I'm working on. So, I tend to dock myself any time that I do waste and stay later in the day to make up for it.

I was all set to take 15 minutes out yesterday to call a new friend whose house I was going to later that evening for the first time in order to get directions. As we conversed, I was feeling so de-energized that I said, "It's not going to be a good day today." We talked a little while longer and he said, "Hey, I went to that clinic down on Ogden for my nutrition class. That place has really got it together." The clinic on Ogden is a ministry that my family has been involved with for most of my life. It's a part of a church that is working holistically to reform one of Chicago's Westside neighborhoods, so they provide low-cost, sliding-scale health services. The clinic is also a partner in my program. My friend went on to say that he can't pay much for the classes right now because he's pretty cash-poor, but he'd like to offer the clinic pro-bono or low-cost remodeling work. That's what he does for a living. He's a licensed contractor in the city of Chicago and fully insured with workers and everything. He even works with an architect that does low-cost housing. He was going to call the director of the clinic himself, but since I am already connected with the guy, asked if I would make the offer.

How cool is that? God shows up in some totally unexpected places. I was looking at my day with an expectation of disappointment and stress and in the time I was going to dock myself because I wasn't working for Jesus, he showed up anyway. I dropped my forehead into my hands as the tears that come from being touched emotionally started to well up. I thanked God for reminding me that my day won't go the way I expect it will go. It will play out the way he wants it to play out.

I'm not going to end this story all shinyhappy and tell you how many lives I changed because of this moment but I will tell you that it wasn't as bad as I thought. I was able to get to work and get things done. My appointments did stack up on one another but it was manageable. My co-worker was defensive but agreed to respect my program restrictions in the future. My lunch date cancelled but rescheduled for a time when we wouldn't have to cut it short. Then, I went home and watched a bunch of Gilmore Girls episode before the fun party at my contractor friend's house.

Not a bad way to start and end the day.

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