I haven't been blogging since last year thanks to a dubious decision on my part to change to Cell C's "Whoooooooshh" promotional package for my mobile internet access. I say "dubious", not because the speeds are poor (they're not - in fact, they're great), and also not because there's any problem with the pricing (at R149 per month for 2GB, it's the cheapest in SA at the moment), but because of the disbolical service from the Pietermaritzburg branch of Cell C.
At the risk of being branded as a complete sexist, I have to choose words that best describe the sales "assistants" at the store - bimbos chewing their cud like cows in the meadows, possessing similar levels of unwillingness to provide anything remotely closely resembling customer service. The manager wasn't much help, either, having either "popped out for a few moments" or, to use that old classic, "in a meeting".
All this means that I only got connected a couple of hours ago - and then, only once I'd called Cell C head office and comprehensively thrown my toys out of the cot.
However, the following thought crossed my mind as I pondered on this experience. The one gum-chewing girlie had a permanently-pained expression on her face, as though she is currently working in the worst possible job she could find, which she no doubt hates with a passion. Now admittedly it can't be too glamorous being a sales assistant in a cellphone outlet, and I wouldn't imagine that the pay is too great, either. However, it is only grave-diggers and deep-sea divers that get to start at the top - the rest of us need to begin at the bottom, and the only way to progress to higher stations in life is to prove oneself at the lower levels.
So it must be soul-destroying to spend 8 hours a day, six days a week, dragging one's lip around the shop all day (when one isn't busy doing one's bit for the chewing-gum maker's share price, that is). Sadly, with that attitude, this young woman will still be in the same dead-end job in 20 years' time, wondering what became of her life.
The thought that scares me most, though, is that this should ever happen to me in ministry. I'm thankful to God that I have always had interesting jobs to do during my "first career", and I'm even more thankful that god has set me aside to do, on a full-time basis, what most lay people give up time to do sacrificially in obedience to God through the local church. Yet I'm also aware that much (if not most) of ministry involves service - the image of Jesus washing the disciples' feet comes to mind here.
I have also seen others who have been in the ministry for many years who have simply grown tired. They have lost their passion for ministry. Sure, they still love Jesus, and they still have a heart for people, but somehow the spark has gone - and so they end up simply going through the motions, just like the woman at the Cell C store. And so my prayer is that we do not "grow weary in doing good" in the service of the Lord.
A time to count our losses - This year has been a year like no other! We have gone through highs and lows - and then more highs and more lows. The roller-coaster ride has been hectic...
19 hours ago