Just Help- "If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; If you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate;" Verse 7
Step 1: Wash Water Tanks
Step 2: Practice What You Preach
Step 3: I Am Not The Boss
Before I was old enough to drive, or work legally in the state of Texas, I had a car payment and a job. My first car reminded me of a race car; it was a standard, and it went fast. White, 4 doors-- a 94 Acura Integra. At the time, 1994 didn't seem that old, and more importantly, it was mine.
As a result of newly owning a car, I was in need of income. My dad graciously decided to begin paying me for work. (Yes, begin. Child labor is popular on the farm.) And so, that is how I became the resident water tank washer of 2 feed yards in the Texas panhandle.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term "feed yard", let me enlighten you. A feed yard serves much like a hotel for cattle. They arrive in a rather large coach to stay in our luxurious pens, and essentially eat, drink, and be merry. My presence in this happy little fairy tale resembles that of room service.
When I reached the water tank, positioned in the middle, I reached to the bottom to find the stopper. It usually took great might to rip it out of the hole, and more often than not, I sprayed myself with its contents: manure, spit, moss, mud, grain, and who knows what else. As the water drained, I scrubbed the sides of the tank until it was clean and white. Then, I placed the stopper back in and let the water fill, crystal clear. Lather, rinse, repeat. For every pen.
On occasion, the cattle would decide to charge at me for no apparent reason. This made my job even more fun. At the end of my duty, I possessed a smell that took days to remove, dried manure grit in my teeth, and a rats' nest on my head. For one feed yard's cleaning, two and a half hours of work, at minimum wage, I made 12 dollars. It is not a stretch to say that I was at the bottom of the feed yard totem pole. You simply could not find a worse job. Did I mention my dad was the boss?
When I read May's verse, and when I think about offering my life as a living sacrifice to God, I can't help but think about that feed yard job. Just help: wash water tanks. I want to help others in simple, and sometimes unpleasant, ways-- without recognition, power, or complaining.
Washing water tanks wasn't a difficult job. It wasn't particularly great, but someone had to do it.