It's easy to admire firefighters for their willingness to run in to situations that most of us would be running away from. But I see another quality in firefighters that I admire even more – their faithfulness to drudgery. You see, only about an hour of that ten hour call was “exciting” work - breaking windows, knocking down doors, battling flames. The rest of the time, the firefighters were involved in tasks such as redirecting traffic, checking for and spraying hot spots, pumping water out of the basement that flooded next door, and cleaning hose. Three hours of those ten hours were spent at the station cleaning hose and hanging it to dry and putting new hose back on the trucks for next time.
Faithfulness to ten percent excitement and ninety percent drudgery is impressive. But when you start to factor in the hours of training, practice drills and equipment maintenance, it quickly becomes an even more impressive percentage. Firefighters are committed and faithful through so many mundane and boring tasks. There is no thrill or enjoyment in cleaning thousands of feet of wet, heavy hose. Those hours of preparation and maintenance, however, are what make the fleeting moments of excitement possible.
In our spiritual walk, we all yearn for exciting experiences. No one wants to sign up for drudge work in the kingdom of God. But there is a lot of drudge work that needs to be done. So, today I'm challenging myself to be faithful in drudgery. I want to intentionally commit to mundane tasks and recognize their essentialness. Our faithfulness and commitment in the boring things will enable God to use us when those exciting moments come along. If we want God to use us with rolling flames, we need to roll a lot of hose.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, 'children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.' Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.” -Paul's words to the Philippians 2:12-18 NIV