Sitting down at my desk every morning, Monday to Friday, I have to remind myself that I like my service placement*. I like what I do. And I’m thankful to be where I am.
But that’s often not my first thought. I routinely have to counteract a negative attitude about anything that could count as a duty. Chores. Volunteering. A favor for a friend. Even personal projects like writing a book. If it looks, smells, and feels like responsibility, I want out.
But with that responsibility set aside, the things that I resent are often also things that I enjoy. Like washing dishes. It’s relaxing to me. I like seeing food-encrusted plates get clean again and ready for the next meal. Maybe you think that’s strange, but several people have told me they feel the same way. And have you ever re-read a book after it was a class requirement? It might as well be a completely different story.
Now at my service placement, it’s a similar deal. I chose a placement that is meaningful to me, yet I still struggle to enjoy getting out of bed before 8 o’clock. Even though I believe this is exactly where God wants me right now, I still look forward to going home at the end of a long day. I’m not sure why this is. Everything about my placement is wonderful. Perhaps it just shows the state of my heart.
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
In the meantime, I have to be intentional to be thankful. Every day, I need to remind myself again that I like what I do. Then in time, my first thought in the morning may be, “Thank you, Lord.”
What do you need to give thanks for today?
*I am serving as a Jesuit Volunteer/AmeriCorps Member, which technically I am not allowed to call “work” or a “job” (since I technically have no income). But don’t worry, I still have a stipend for food and rent. People have actually asked me this.