Friday, January 13, 2012

Crouching between two burdens

1:27 p.m. Today's project was to continue the commitment to hard work that the Lord, through Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional, assigned me yesterday. I would have written about this last night, but although our network was connected, neither my laptop nor my desktop were receiving the message. I felt rather bad for Jung, our Korean student, because she had an online assignment due, but as for me, the Lord apparently wanted me to get some sleep!

A little background: January 12th had been looming over my perfectly made-up head for two weeks. My Sales Director Laurie and our Director-in-Qualification Cara were headed to a conference in Atlanta for which they qualified, leaving me as one of the leaders to run our Thursday night meeting. I would be training the other consultants on booking appointments from conversations started with ladies we all meet during our daily errands. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoy meeting people from all walks of life, but with Mary Kay, that gift is being used to help my business grow. (And  being a retired teacher, I had no valid way to chicken out)! Having to let myself into the house, do the alarm code and get the meeting set up 45 minutes early did add to my angst, though--more things that could go wrong. But I agreed to do it...

As if that weren't plenty to have on my mind, Cara asked if I would take her place at a table advertising Mary Kay products at Chico's women's clothing store at the Riverside Plaza from 1 p.m. until time to leave for our meeting in Redlands. The event was a fundraiser for the Riverside County Wraparound program that keeps families together, I would be gathering leads from ladies hoping to win a basket of hand care products. I would also give squirts of peach-scented handcream, which would be highly welcome in our current dry weather.

Since Cara and I have done a number of lead-gathering events together and worked hard on the Adopt-A-Grandparent program to donate gifts to Care Connexxus adult daycare, I could hardly turn her down. Plus--fresh, qualified leads are the lifeblood of any business, small or multinational!

So I made many preparations for my table, lots of decisions about the right outfit, and notified friends and customers of the Chico's event. I prepared my teaching notes for the meeting, the big day came, and honestly,  


First thing in the morning, while in this nervewracked state, I read my morning portion of the Spurgeon devotional for January l2, entitled "Ye are Christ's". Here's the section on hard work:

Are you placed where others are sitting down idly, doing nothing? Rise to the work with all your powers; and when the sweat stands upon your brow, and you are tempted to loiter, cry, "No, I cannot stop, for I am Christ's. If I were not purchased  by blood, I might be like Issachar, crouching between two burdens; but I am Christ's and cannot loiter."

Issachar was one of the sons of Jacob. His father's deathbed pronouncement in Genesis 49: 14-15 is as follows: 

Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between two burdens; he saw that rest was good, and that the land was pleasant; he bowed his shoulder to bear a burden, and became a band of slaves. 

So there you have it--work hard, don't pawn off your assignment on others, lest you become a slave to those who are willing to work hard!

The Lord pulled me together, once again assuring me, "I'm in this for you!" and was with me every step of the way, down to the colors I'd selected to decorate my table with. (They matched the clothing colors being featured at the Chico's store)! In only three hours, enough leads were collected to make my time worthwhile, and I made some new business friends.

Our weekly meeting went very well, with former Sales Director Sunnye doing the corporate gathering and glamour makeover, and most of the consultants attending my training. We learned, laughed, and challenged one another the Mary Kay way. As our founder said herself, "If I have an idea, and you have an idea, when we share them, we each have two ideas!"

The evening wrapped up, Laurie's husband and boys came home, and I made it safely home, with a smile on my face and the satisfaction of two jobs well done.

One day, all of us who have listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit and served the Lord and others in any capacity, whether as parents, ministers or business people, will hear these words from our Savior's own mouth (Matthew 25:21):

Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. 

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