Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
Titus 3:1-4 (Italics mine)
Lately, my eyes have refused to stay open. Last workweek I struggled to stay upright for the full nine hours, and yesterday I spend the four hours from 3:00 to 7:00 asleep. I then went to bed at 9:30 with no trouble and slept until 6:50. Now exhaustion has once again ambushed me, and the siren song of a warm bed calls. I will go wash dishes instead, though, and straighten the house, and change the laundry.
That is probably the single thing I like least about being a grown-up: having to take responsibility for pretty much everything in life, and doing what must be done before I can do what I would like to. Pleasure pretty much always comes second; first I must ask, Do I have any responsibilities to discharge before having fun? All too often the an affirmative answer comes back, so I then go off and do that thing.
On the bright side, sometimes a person can reasonably defer responsibility for a while. Like how Ian and I watched two Babylon 5 Season 2 episodes this morning before church. It felt decadent, watching TV as if we were kids on a Saturday morning, rather than washing our breakfast dishes. Actually, since graduating our responsibilities-at-home levels have probably dropped since in college we still had to do all those home-maintenance things on top of homework and group projects and the like. Now when we get home from work, we have general upkeep to perform but not much more, and I do enjoy that.
Especially since the departure of our last experienced coworker on January 8, only two of us have been around to hold down the report-writing fort for the Laboratory Sciences Department at Charles River Labs. My boss has worked very hard to coordinate with other members of the Reporting Group to give us support, but even so the amount of work I have picked up just doubled or tripled. My to-do list never gets done; it only lengthens. I never, ever have a moment when six things don’t need doing, and odds are somebody has also parked himself outside my cube with a request for an LM, changes to be made to a report, or the need to have some random report printed or something. Even with supposed support from the other parts of the Reporting Group, I can only pray that we find another writer or two to come in soon. I cannot imagine withstanding the level of stress and anxiety now standard in my day for very long.
Of course, Mom helped relieve that stress by sending me chocolate-covered strawberries and apple slices at work on Thursday. Made my day, week, and probably month. Frankly, just the memory of those makes me drool. And I even shared them with people, including one coworker who, well… I would not feel naturally inclined to share with (or, quite frankly, do anything with at all — not even chat idly at work. I would be much, much happier not associating at all with this person). But I had just read the verse of the day, and the italicized part made me realize that I am no better than this coworker. I am still foolish and disobedient, malicious, envious, and hateful. Having read that, I was reminded that Jesus loved all people and redeemed — redeems — us and loves us regardless of our odiousness. That means my job is to love others, even if that means sharing my really delicious dark-chocolate strawberries and apples with somebody who I dislike.