Tables for Character

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The first time I had to wait tables I was in Brazil at a youth conference. I was part of the leadership and also running to be the president of that organization. I usually would sing or do something else more visible but for some reason the leadership decided I needed to work serving tables. My friends told me it was a strategy so I wouldn’t have a lot of visibility prior to the election. My father reminded me of Stephen. He told me God was able to use him while serving tables and God could do the same thing for me. I ended up winning that election and others in the youth organization. Serving tables as a teenager taught me to enjoy the special places God allows me to serve. God can only take me higher.
The second time I had to wait tables was in college. To top my table waiting experience, I stayed in town for the summer so I waited tables after hundreds of summer campers. One afternoon everyone managed to disappear and I was left with a whole dinning room of dirty tables. I remember surveying the situation and doing the best cleaning job ever. Months later an older gentlemen reminded me of how he watches my work ethic and that it was good. He said I was always on time, worked hard and never complained. Serving tables as a young woman taught me people are watching, even when you are doing what most would consider to be menial tasks. They are watching and learning your character.

Cleaning table - Nikon FE2
"Cleaning table" by Kmerenkov

Lately I’ve been waiting tables in my own home. My two kids are learning how to eat by themselves so cleaning is a constant part of life. Milk, cereal and rice is often found all around the table and I clean it all, every time. Serving tables as a mother of two under two has taught me that it may not look like it but there are higher purposes in my cleaning. Mary, the mother of Jesus had to clean after Him. The same goes for others I look up to such my grandmothers. I’m sure that if they could talk to me they would say it was worth it. You just have to look at the result of their serving.

Acts 6:1-7 talks about the story of seven men who were given a task many would consider menial but they took it with joy. They served tables and as a result, the word of God and the number of disciples multiplied. One of these men was Stephen, described as full of faith and the Holy Spirit. Stephen had a short but impactfull ministry. I’m glad he didn’t consider waiting tables beneath him but he served with joy and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I’m not sure where God has you waiting tables today. Remember God can take you higher, your character is being developed and people are being developed through your serving.
• Have ever had to serve tables before? Please share the lessons learned.