My friend Gutch shared a short impromptu message last Sunday at the church service with the locals of Bekes. He said that our long trek from La Union all the way to their place in Kibungan was a form of worship, in the same way that we sing songs in church, or do our laundry and house chores, or help our neighbor. In essence, he said that anything that is done for the Lord is worship —that one thing that brings God ultimate glory.
That thought stayed with me and became very real especially last night. My friends were coming in for the dinner I prepared for them after their day climb. I couldn’t go with them because I had previous engagements to attend to: a flag planting at the Manila American cemetery that early morning, and then my Korean class orientation after. I also had to go to the derma, do some grocery and in between, accompany Keren to the vulcanizing shop. It was a long Saturday. When I came home, which was around 4 in the afternoon, I had to prepare three meals I had in my menu and cook them in at least 2 ½ hours before the scheduled dinner.
To be honest, it wasn’t really that tiring because I love cooking. More, I love cooking for friends. I’m the quality-time kind of friend; I give time as an expression of how I show love to my friends. I love that I get to serve them in this way (I was also the team cook during the climb) and it always warms my heart to know that people appreciate this gesture.
And I was able to finish everything on time last night. One by one as my friends came, I fixed the table, served the dishes hot and prayed. After dinner, we planned to go play billiards so I asked Keren if it was okay that she wash the dishes. The other night when her friends came over, preparing for a wedding of a friend, I also cooked dinner, and ended up washing everything. My request was pretty simple. Since I cooked, I certainly hoped I didn’t have to do the dishwashing. That was always the setup at home.
About midnight when I came home, I saw that the table was how we left it that evening. None of the dishes or utensils were washed. Everything still had to be thrown in the trash bin. Food had to be refrigerated. It was midnight and I was really sleepy but I decided I wasn’t going to wake Keren up anymore; maybe she fell asleep and forgot to wash the dishes.
So there I was, past midnight washing plates and utensils used by six people. Around this time, after such a long day, I could feel the exhaustion in my body. Even my eyes were closing but you know what kept me up? One, the thought that this had to be done. I could go on blaming (which would have been my default response) or I could just quiet myself and get this over with. Second, I thought about what Gutch said. He told the Kankanaey people that our everyday activities can be a form of worship to God. Colossians 3:17 also said, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
That certainly kept me in proper perspective. Why do we do what we do, for friends, for ourselves? Why do we serve them, cook for them, wash their dishes, or enjoy a social activity with them? To build relationships, yes, but primarily to model what Jesus did with his own disciples. He served them because that brought God glory. And whether it’s a menial task such as washing plates, if it’s done for the Lord, why shouldn’t it be just as glorifying to God and satisfying to us?