Lucy, a friend of mine, recently retired. I came away from her retirement party feeling forlorn.
I was happy that she was able to retire early. It was not that she could really afford to. She was able to find a lower paying full time job in order to supplement her retirement.
She had given of herself to serve the customers to the best of her ability. Granted she was getting paid, but she also put her heart into the job and cared for the people she served and her co-workers.
But the company she had worked for has changed greatly. As the industry becomes less regulated, things become more about volume and less about truly serving the customer. This was so discouraging to her that when the other job opportunity came, she retired.
For twenty seven years she had worked for the company. Nothing was said at the presentation about the various jobs she had during those years. The company representative told of the short time he had personally worked with her, but did not mention anything about the other twenty years.
The union representative had few words and gave her a hat, a check and an engraved watch. He did not mention how much she cared about people.
It is a large company. I suppose there are few people who had worked alongside her throughout the twenty seven years she was there. But if you knew Lucy at all, you knew she cared about people on and off the clock.
I know our days are busy with work and taking care of the physical needs of life. But we need to remember that life is not just about the physical. We have a spiritual life also.
We Christians have an "employer" as well. We work to serve his "customers." We work with him to overcome our sins that we may be better servants. We deny ourselves some pleasure in order to serve.
Someday we will "retire" from this life. Unlike our physical employers, Jesus will have been with us all along. He will know how we have served. He will have seen how we have overcome our sins; how we denied ourselves in order to serve others. Jesus will not send some representative. He, himself, will look at us and say with appreciation and sincerity, "Well done my good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21)
The reward we receive will be so much better than a gold watch and money.
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