"How can you be passionate about cleaning the bathroom?"
This is a question I’ve asked myself many times over the past 25 years. Because trust me when I say, I’ve had ALOT of experience with this particular job.
It started during my Junior and Senior year in college when I had my very first legitimate paid ministry position at a Christian retreat. What was my big exciting job?
Well, it was a fancy one: kid’s ministry and housekeeping. For the first month, it was mostly just housekeeping. Yep, I was the girl who cleaned the guests bathrooms, made the beds, and took out the trash. (Not exactly the internship of my dreams). And yet I knew that everybody had to pay their dues so I thought, “A few months of this and God will open bigger doors.”
Well, that’s not exactly what happened. Instead, twelve months later God brought me back home after graduation where after a few years of kicking and screaming and trying to find an “important” position, I finally settled into the the fact that once again my role was to serve. For years I found my place and purpose taking care of our home and helping my family. Once again, my main jobs were cleaning the bathroom, washing dishes and doing laundry because with my Moms allergies she simply couldn’t. (After so many years of practice, I am really good at cleaning a toilet!)
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Even if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you can be passionate about Who you are doing it for.
In my own life, I’ve developed this attitude. I found purpose in my daily chores and routine because I knew that God had called me to that place and His purpose for me in that time was to serve my family. Rather than looking at my jobs as a burden I saw them as a calling and said, “If this is how You want me to serve You, then I will do the best job that I can”.
Over the years, I’ve come to believe that this is a key to finding your purpose, your place, and your passion in life:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)
You see, the key to finding purpose and passion in every place that God puts you is realizing that you aren’t just doing a job, you are fulfilling a calling. Wherever you are or whatever responsibility God has placed in your life, God has you there for a purpose. Everything that you do is your calling and as a Christian you are working for God.
When you truly adopt this attitude in your life everything changes—-especially you. When you embrace this truth you are no longer just putting in time or getting through a list of things to do. Instead, you come to the realization that whatever you are doing is part of God’s purpose. It’s not just a job; it’s a calling and God has a plan to use you right where you are to influence your world for Him.
This is how you find purpose even in jobs that seem menial. It’s how you become passionate about the mundane: when you realize that everything you do—-even the dirtiest most unappreciated jobs—when done for Jesus, help fulfill His kingdom purpose.
When I discovered this truth, my whole attitude toward my life changed!
Now I wasn’t just cleaning toilets and doing laundry because I loved my family (which was a valuable reason in itself). Instead, I was cleaning toilets and doing laundry for Jesus. If I was doing it for Him then I was going to do the best job I possibly could! Somehow as I continued in this mindset, I genuinely came to the place where I no longer worried about advancing myself or finding a way out of my life, but I really began to enjoy it. When the day came that I prayed, “If this is what You want the rest of my life to look like, serving You by serving my family, I’m good with that” I meant it with all of my heart.
You see, it was when I adopted this attitude that I found my purpose. It was serving Jesus in everything I did.
I found my place: serving Jesus by serving my family.
I found my passion: serving Jesus by serving others.
It’s when we adopt this attitude that we are truly on the road to finding our purpose in life.
At least that’s how it worked for me.
This week's blog is an excerpt from my new book, "The Adventure:
Discovering Your God-Given Passion, Place and Purpose"
Order Your Copy Today!