It was another hot day during camp season at the stables. We were three or four days into this group of kids and the now famous little Ruby was among them. I was just finishing up mucking out the 27 stalls and was moving on to cleaning water buckets and dropping hay when Ruby piped up again.
Normally she was a bit pretentious and she was always confident in what she had to tell me or anyone willing to listen. There were three or four other little girls hanging out in the barn waiting their next turn to tack up and go to the indoor arena to ride. She looked up at me and shook her head. I was waiting for it. I know I looked a sight. I always sweat through my clothes before 8 am and this was nearly one o’clock. I couldn’t leave well enough alone though, I had to ask. “What’s the matter Ruby?”
“It’s not fair.” she said. Here we go with another ego filled rant about how someone had mistreated her, or at least that was what I expected.
“What’s not fair?” I asked her, waiting for the barrage of poor me.
“You do all of the work around here.” “What?” I asked, not because I didn’t hear, but because I was stunned at what I did hear.
“You do all the hard stuff and no one helps you or says thank you. Its not fair to you.” I admit that at that moment I wanted to chime in with the “You got that right sister!” or “Amen!”. I even thought about asking her to tell my boss what she had said. After all, she was right! I busted my tail everyday for that place and all I ever heard was why something was out of place or why are there so many flies? I followed the instructions as closely as possible, just the right amount of supplements in the feed and everything, like I was taught to do. But hey 31 horses in 27 stalls that close together, flies happen, if you know what I mean.
God on the other hand had a different approach in mind.
Colossians 3:23 says this:
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
So I looked at her and smiled. I thanked her for caring and went on to explain. “I know it doesn’t seem fair, and to be honest, sometimes it doesn’t feel fair. But I am a christian and I want to make God proud of my work. I want to be proud of my work too. So I do the best job that I can. It may be more than I am asked to do, and no one may ever thank me for it, but I know that God sees me and it makes Him happy that I do my best.”
She looked at me and before she could speak another little girl spoke up. She was a tiny thing too, no older than Ruby, but a lot happier and what she said sounded like it was written for the Andy Griffith Show. “That’s some mighty fine thinkin.” She said.
I held in as much laughter as I could, not because what she said was funny, it was how she said it and how quickly. “Well thank you I said back and went back to work.”
My initial response was not going to be the right one to what Ruby said. I wanted to defend myself as if the words of a 9 year old would somehow make me more of a man or earn me a raise in pay. I felt validated and yet God moved me from that. I went from a complaining brat to a teacher when He took over.
We do work hard, and often it goes unnoticed by the people we work hard for. But I know that God notices! He sees and cares about how I work. In that moment I was forced to swallow my pride in order to let my good work not be tainted by my selfishness. When we stop our mouths and still our minds in moments of emotion, God has room to speak the truth in love through us.
What is God wanting to say through you today? He may say it through your words, but more than likely He will say it through your actions. Work hard, and be honest and watch what God does around you and through you. Life is just life, but life in God is a powerful life.
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men