My Life with God

Noodles and Toilet Bowl Cleaner

I don’t know if I’d ever expect to see such a combination in a sentence: noodles and toilet bowl cleaner. Yet I found myself messaging someone to let her know we’d swap exactly those two items.

It started when I offered to do a friend’s grocery shopping. Toilet bowl cleaner was on her list. While I was at the store, someone else asked if I could pick up noodles. That would normally not be a problem, but I’d only carried in the first friend’s debit card. I didn’t have any other method of payment with me, and I didn’t want to leave my groceries to return to my car. As it turned out, the store was out of the toilet bowl cleaner, but I use the same kind and had some at home. That’s when I texted and said I was adding the noodles to the card charge but would pick up the cleaner from my house, and we wouldn’t need to exchange any money. She bought the noodles. I replaced them with toilet bowl cleaner.

It was an odd combination.

It made me laugh. It was a little thing, but in the middle of feeling a bit stressed to make sure I picked up all the right things for my friend, I tried to help someone else, too, and I made the whole process of helping a little complicated. I was bartering noodles and toilet bowl cleaner.

Today’s post might seem silly, but here’s the reminder: serving others seems stressful as well as silly as times. Maybe we want to do some big things for people, and we’re asked to do the simple instead. Maybe we know we should find joy in serving but feel a burden or obligation instead. Maybe we want to do what we want when we want, but guess what? That’s right: Serving is not about us. Helping is not about us.

Do what you can today. Pay attention to who is around you. Serve with abundant generosity. And you’ll probably find ways to laugh at yourself along the way.

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