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Matthew 25:23 – His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness." (NIV)
I was stationed at the Canadian Navy base in Scotland, waiting to join a new aircraft carrier destined for the Pacific, when the war came to an end with VJ day. I was scheduled for return to Canada and demob (demobilization), but having recently met a special girl in Glasgow, I volunteered to stay while the base went through the lengthy process of closing down.
As a mere Able Seaman (one automatic step up, with the requisite sea time, from Ordinary Seaman), I was given the job of swabbing the deck (the floor) and cleaning the heads (the toilets) on the quarterdeck. This being the nerve centre of the establishment, it was often crawling with high-ranking officers.
One day, I was summoned before the Commanding Officer. Not knowing what to expect, but fearing the worst, I snapped to attention before his desk and waited. When he finally looked up from his paperwork, his first question startled me.
"You were brought up on a farm, weren't you?" he asked.
"No, sir," I admitted. Actually I was brought up in a manse.
"Oh." That seemed to confuse him momentarily. "It has been my experience," he said at last, "that only farm boys do the 'joe jobs' as conscientiously and as cheerfully as you have been doing. I have another job for you, if you would like to take it."
And that job? Taking the mail between Glasgow and London on the train, with my own compartment, just me and the mail bags, travelling overnight, being relieved of the mail at Euston station, having all day off in London, returning with mail overnight to Glasgow, being relieved of the mail at St. Enoch's station, having all day off in Glasgow, doing this every night but Saturday, being paid extra (for a total of $3.20 per day), having relatives at both ends, seeing battered London this time without fear of the doodle bugs (flying bombs), and most importantly, having time with the special girl in Glasgow. (We recently celebrated our sixtieth anniversary.) I accepted a job with more responsibility but with far greater rewards.
Someday, we will be surprised when our Great Commanding Officer reviews how we have performed the "joe jobs", the little things, the necessary but perhaps unpleasant things, that are a part of life. What will be His verdict? Have we done them with grumbling and with as little effort as possible, or with a song in our hearts, doing all to the glory of God? The rewards are beyond our imagining.
Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Lord and Father, help us to make You such an important part of each day that even the little, unpleasant chores are accepted not as nuisances but as opportunities to know Your presence with us and to praise You in everything we do. In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen.
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