Whether you’re working at a local coffee shop, a greasy spoon joint, telecommunications, under the hood of a car, in a cubicle, or inside a car dealership; serving customers can be very stressful.
Being a former youth pastor, disc jockey, and host of a music video show on Ski Angel, I thought I would be more than ready for a job at one of the most popular coffee shops on the planet. I was dead wrong.
I honestly thought that, compared to fulltime ministry, a job in the ‘secular world’ would be a cake-walk. But I soon found that no matter how much free espresso I could get into my system, nothing prepared me for customer service.
All jokes aside, I never needed caffeine until I started serving it to the masses. Dealing with people, issues, and hard-life stories had always come easy to me. But throw that, making a product to someone’s perfection, and listening to them yell because the cup feels too full, into one big pot, and I found myself wanting to do a little more than pray for them.
I started to get so stressed out I couldn’t think of prayer, much less Bible study, or personal time with the Lord. I needed some serious strengthening spiritually.
The first thing I did was ask around. I pulled another Christian brother that I worked with aside, after work, and share my feelings. He showed me this scripture:
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Matthew 9:36 (KJV)
My co-worker said, “You can’t look at them as people who are rude, in a rush, and easily irritated. These are lost people. These are people who are in need of a Savior. They’re hungry, desiring real love, and doing the best they can to survive. You can’t expect anything more from them.”
This was true. It’s so easy to get stressed out about who we have to serve, and loose sight of the fact that Jesus Christ died for them. My problem was that I was seeing them through my eyes, not through the eyes of Christ. Then I began to ask God to help me see them as He does.
After talking with my co-worker I decided that another good thing to do was make myself accountable with him. As Christians working together, in this largely untapped mission field, we now pray for each other, and encourage each other to serve those who Jesus died for.
In a parable dealing with this same issue in mind, Jesus said,
“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40
In serving others our very best, not only are we fulfilling our call to be salt and light in a thirsty and dark world, but we are serving Jesus.