My Wordspace

A dumpster full of various musings over life, God, scripture, and any random thought that may fly by meanwhile. Comments welcome.

Wearing Down

Posted by Iszi on July 17, 2004

Good morning, Readers.


I really hate to bitch about work on this blog, but my body doesn’t feel in the mood for much else right now, so bear with me please.  Last night, BL made it to work although apparently still in much pain.  The bruise from her injury has spread rather extensively, yet she still came in.  I guess she can’t afford to take too much time off, and at the same time also doesn’t want to cause any more headaches for our store manager, (by leaving us a person short on third shift) who already has enough on her own plate to start with.


So, since she was coming in on an injury that she should probably be staying home with, BL’s shift was short and with few assignments.  Which meant that I had to pick up the slack, and do it with less time available away from the register.  I don’t really mean to complain about the fact that the duties were un-balanced for the night, because I completely understand why they were the way they were, and honestly wouldn’t like to have had it any other way, for BL’s sake.  But still, that didn’t make it any easier for me to get my job done.


Furthermore, the vault (big walk-in cooler with all the drinks, remember?) looked like absolute hell when I walked in.  Personally, I feel that it’s because I haven’t had to do the vault in the past four nights.  When I do the vault, I spend a lot of time making sure the back end (anything that’s not in the window shelves) stays organized, as I work to get the window shelves stocked.  On a typical work week, Sunday nights are the absolute easiest nights when it comes to getting stuff done in the vault because I’ve already had two days (Friday and Saturday – sometimes I get Thursdays off, and usually if I do work them I’m not in the vault) to get things straightened up in the back end, and there’s been no vendors coming in except the nightly dairy delivery, which we handle ourselves anyway.  Wednesday nights, by comparison, are usually the roughest nights because a.) Between Sunday and Monday nights, every vendor that delivers into the vault has come in, including our twice-a-week merchandise delivery truck.  and b.) Upon closer observation, it would seem that the person who covers the vault on my nights off doesn’t spend any time at all worrying about keeping the back end is straightened and organized.  (Even though they’ve had a whole night to clean up after the delivery nights before I have to see it.)


So, although I’ve greatly enjoyed having a break from the vault since SS (yeah, that’s our other third-shift lady) has come back, I was absolutely pissed when I walked in last night to see it the way it was, especially with not much time to work on it, after having to already take care of more than my usual share of the workload.  The sad part is, the organizational issues that need taking care of are simple do-as-you-go things, as long as they’re done on a steady, regular basis.  When you ignore them for nights on end is when they become daunting extra-hour long tasks to fix.  Not to mention some of the issues can result in out-right safety hazards.


On top of that, the extra stretch of my work week didn’t make things feel any better last night.  My back has started to become sore in ways, and at rates, that I shouldn’t be feeling at this age.  Some nights (particularly after walking into the vault to see it as it was last night) it’s all I can do to not just say “Screw this, I’m going home.”.


Now I wonder, does the typical pastor ever have these thoughts?  Was he ever in a job like this, where he had to fight with himself to keep going, and keep a positive attitude?  I would guess that in one way or another, the answer is likely yes.  I mean, all of us are human, right?  And not all pastors have been in pastoral service all their life.  Even if they “always” knew they were headed in that direction, some of them probably had to do something in the “dead-end job” category at some point, likely so they could fund their way through the necessary schooling.  So, how do they deal with this flesh vs. Spirit battle?


That’s what this boils down to, I think.  Just like any forbidden lustful desire, this is a flesh vs. Spirit battle.  During this harsh time at work, my flesh keeps telling me: “You’ve worked ten days straight for this lady here, and now you’re having to pick up a good bit of her workload, while your own workload is being unfairly inflated to begin with by other people’s laziness, so by golly you have every right to bitch, moan, and whine as freely and liberally as you want!”  And at the same time my Spirit keeps trying to say “You’re doing this to help a friend in need, and as a follower and imitator of Christ, you should do this gladly and without complaint.  In this way, you will ‘…Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.’


A reminder of this actually came Monday morning when, after having dropped me off at home, BL referred to my works (having offered to cover her Monday-Tuesday shifts, and then later her Wednesday-Thursday shifts, so she could rest) as “The most Christian thing [I] could do.”  Inside, this made me feel happier than I could ever have imagined, yet my flesh was saying in my ear “Yeah, yeah, let’s just get this week over with quick.”.  The quarrel between the two left me regrettably unable to respond, aside from just to smile and wave goodbye.  Honestly, whenever BL or my manager tells me “thank you” for doing something of this nature, instead of saying “you’re welcome” (which would only be polite and proper), I end up just giving a half-smile and re-directing the conversation to another topic.


So, why is it that there must be such a flesh/Spirit battle over even such a small thing as saying “you’re welcome”?  How do people overcome this in their lives?  Especially in such demanding and abusive jobs as these?  It’s funny how you can sometimes be dulled to the harshness of your own job, and at other times see it so clearly.  One particular night it was brought to clear light in my eyes when a local County Corrections Officer said to me “I hold you in high respect, working this shift here… you work a more dangerous job than I do!”.  How, in a job such as this, can anyone keep a Christian attitude without feeling like they’re faking it?


Strangely enough, it now comes to mind that they aren’t really faking it, they’re just taking control of themselves and making a clear choice which part of themselves they’re going to listen to.  I have had several nights lately where I feel the joy of the Lord in my heart, yet my flesh constantly dominates and drowns that joy out with physical fatigue and mental anguish over the demands of my job.  So, with your body being the vessel through which all worldly tasks are done, and through which you communicate to others, how can the Spirit prevail?  The body is constantly fighting against the desires of the Spirit by not wanting to do anything at all, by wanting to be lazy and to complain about its aches and pains because it is the part of you that does all the work, and all the Spirit does is sit back and try to tell you what is right to do, and what you should be doing with your body.


It’s like trying to fight the auto-pilot on an airplane.  The airplane wants to do whatever it wants to do.  The airplane’s intent is for its survival and success.  But ground control wants you to make the airplane do something different, although their intent is also for the airplane’s survival and success, just in a better way.  No matter which of the two you listen to, the airplane will still survive and be successful.  To follow what the airplane wants to do, you just sit back, relax, and let the airplane do its thing.  To make the airplane do what ground control wants it to do, you have to grab the stick and pay attention to the airplane’s attempts to veer off the course ground control wants it to take.  If you let go of the controls for one minute, the airplane will take back over and get back to doing its own thing again.  You take control for awhile, getting the airplane to do what ground control wants you to have it do, but after a point it becomes tiresome to keep countering the airplane’s re-directions, and it’s just easier to let the airplane do its own thing, since it will still survive and be successful anyway.


So, what propels us to keep control over this airplane of ours?  What is there that can keep us from just deciding to let go and let the airplane fly itself?


I’d better go.  I’m beginning to ramble on, and on top of that the B on my keyboard is sticking suddenly.  It’s amazing how annoying the malfunction of one key on your keyboard, no matter how little it is used, can quickly become an annoyance.  It’s also kind of weird how, all of a sudden, every word seems to need that letter now even though I haven’t used it in the past 29 words, or 163 characters.  (If you’re actually counting behind me, you must be more bored than I want to imagine.)


So, until next time, provided my keyboard doesn’t completely give out on me, I’ll cy’allz l8r.


– Iszi


Song of the moment:  Delirious? – Deeper


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