Well right now we are somewhere between Togo and South Africa on the 9th day out of our hopeful 18 day sail. Now in past sails I have stayed in the hospital department helping with scanning patient charts, writing or rewriting protocols, helping with nursing orientation, or researching Burkitt’s. Well this sail I decided to branch out and join the dining room team. (*sidenote: Annie and Mom stop laughing. I can hear you now, “Becca in the dining room? The girl who eats cereal and tuna just so she doesn’t have to cook or clean!” I know I know. Just keep reading). The main reason I picked this job was that I really wanted to be around the crew and be able to interact with them throughout the sail. Well I definitely got what I asked for and at times maybe more than I asked for.. hehe
The first day of my new job I showed up fully energized and excited to start. My team was made up of Lydia (my roommie), Pierrette, and two other nurses Becca and Sarah.
(Pierrette's Posse/my dining room team)
Our day started at 615 and went til 1015. As we finished mopping the floors I was feeling tired but okay and was told to be back for 1115 to set up for lunch. So after a quick break we all scurried back in and worked until 3p. After finishing mopping we were told to be back by 415 to set up for dinner. Sweet an extra 15 minutes this time… hmmm that went by WAY to fast. We worked until 750p. After mopping the floors I slowly made my way back to my room to wash off the salsa in my hair, the lettuce in my ears, and the butter and mayonnaise that was glistening on my arms. “What did I sign up for?!”
That night I went to bed and slept VERY well. I woke up the next day to do it all over again. By the end of day 2 I had pulled out the master schedule and was counting how many more days of this torture I had to endure. "1,2, 3, 4,5,6,7,8 okay 8 days left…" On top of counting my remaining days I also had thought up some new dining room rules:
1. Everyone should be in the ‘Clean Plate Club’- only take what you can eat and lick your plate clean.
2. When finished eating you should wipe down your own table and clean up around your area.
3. One cup per person per day.
4. If using peanut butter, butter, or eggs you have to clean your own dish.
*For more rules and regulations for proper dining in the dining room please email me.. hehe
As I dragged myself back to my room I was wondering why this was so much more draining then all other work I had done. Was it the hours? manual labor? the people? Was it just the fact that it was new and unfamiliar? So I decided to do something that I should have done awhile ago, I decided to pray about it. It didn’t take long for God to show me my problem was not any of these but the problem was my own bad attitude.
In nursing I run across ALL types of people and some that are more… challenging than others. But in this scenario it wasn’t others as much as my own reaction that was so shocking to me. Being a nurse is what I truly love and what brings me inexpressible joy and love but working in the dining room is definitely more of a test for me.
God what are you trying to teach me?
Answer: Learn to serve.
Hmm… Learn to serve? God, remember I am serving, that’s why I moved away from everything I knew to serve you on a tin ship in Africa. So I asked again and His answer was: Learn to serve. Alright alright I get it. Well maybe I should look up the definition to see what serving really means or looks like.
Serve~ a. To work for. b. To be a servant to. c. To prepare and offer.
Shoot. I know that I have been serving not only over this past year but off and on throughout my life. Most of us have been. But having spaghetti sauce and coffee grinds up to my elbows was not something I envisioned as a way of serving the Lord. I mean come on I’m a nurse, God is this really how you want me to be using my skills.
What would Jesus do? What would he say?
Jesus came down from heaven, the most beautiful, amazing place that even words can’t describe, left his Father, to live and work on this sinful evil world. Now He could have come down to earth (ya know the one He created) and reigned as King of all kings, but instead he took on the job of a humble servant carpenter. Jesus did not come into this world to be served but to serve. (Matthew 20:28) and we are called to live as Christ lived. So why am I getting all bent out of shape and walking around with a bad attitude when I should be rejoicing to being able to serve my fellow brothers and sister as Christ served us.
I will end with this. After working only a week in the dining room I am so thankful for all that God has taught me and excited to see what else he has to teach me. The saying that goes, ‘Don’t judge a man til you walk an hour in his shoes/apron’
has never meant as much to me as it does now. After my attitude adjustment and a few conversations with God I see this time in the dining room no longer as a curse but as a HUGE blessing.
I pray blessings upon all those who have worked or are working in food services whether on the Africa Mercy or at home. Know that in everything we do whether eating, drinking or helping someone else eat and drink do it all for the glory of God.
Jeremiah 17:10~ “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."
A matter of belief
3 years ago