On Motivation.

I’m in the midst of suffering through one of most disgusting, miserable head colds. One of those colds that just totally knocks you on your tail. Before it hit me, I gently teased my husband about having the “man flu.” I told you, I think God has a sense of humor and maybe a twisted one, because I now have every bit of my husband’s sickness and more. Point well taken.

Still, the food business stops for nothing. I’m still needed by my customers. In fact, coming off Valentine’s Day week, I’m more needed than I was last week. Restaurants in the middle of their “late winter slump” just saw a huge increase in business. More diners in their restaurants means more food served, which means more work for me.

I love what I do. I’ve always been a sucker for a good challenge and my job provides plenty of them. I also have a soft spot in my heart for independent restaurants. There is something so special about operating a restaurant, and something so emotional about taking the ordinary (providing food, a basic human need) and making it into something extraordinary (adding beauty, flair, atmosphere, etc.) I like seeking out the perfect products for my customers and I love getting photos of the finished product (or better yet, being invited to taste their creations!) and helping them succeed. All of that holds true even when I have to drag myself out of bed, nose stuffy and throat raw. It just takes a little more motivation.

Disclaimer: Having been previously employed in the restaurant industry for many years, I would never advocate going to work while sick. It’s gross and a health risk. For those of you reading and thinking, “Is she really going to tell us she went to work while sick?!” I don’t actually handle food and I take precautions to make sure anything that can be done without face-to-face contact is done remotely while I’m under the weather. Just putting that out there as a point of clarification.

I didn’t have much choice this week but to suck it up. I thought about my last post and decided that this was a perfect exercise in involving God in my work. Sure, I won’t always be sick — but there is always something. There’s the morning commute. There’s the weather. There’s a deadline that seems like a cruel joke and work piling up on either side of it. Self-doubt. A grumpy boss. A late delivery. An angry customer. There is always something lurking on the sidelines, threatening to derail my day. Yours, too.

Here’s the great thing though: Each of has the ability to find positivity and purpose in our work. As with all things, we can choose to see the best in every situation. Even better, we can choose to let God take control and make our path clear. After all, we are working for Him.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:23‭-‬24 ESV

This takes shape in a few ways. Over the last few days I have made an effort to look to Him for my motivation when I feel like I have none.

Pray before you start the day. Pray in quiet moments between appointments, in traffic, when you’ve ended another day, when you can provide for your family because of your hard work, when you’ve made a difference in someone else’s day by good deeds, etc. Pray without ceasing.

Focus. Keep the Lord at the center of your focus. Strive to serve others. Do the right thing. Use your God-given talents to make an impact. Thank Him for the opportunity to work.

If I were to sum up this first endeavor into involving God in my work, it would be to say, “Gain control by giving it up.” We can’t predict the future, we can’t control the world around us but we can choose to make the most of the work we do.

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