I returned to work on Monday this week after being off Thursday and Friday last week for the holiday. It is a common idea that government workers get so many holidays, but what you may not know is that we usually pay dearly for the time off. Most of the time we do double the work when we return. Monday was unbelievably crazy (I'll spare you the details), Tuesday was just crazy and today was back to unbelievably crazy.
At one point while I was running down the stairs between the ninth floor (where my office is) to the eighth floor (where our lobby is) to get my next client, the thought ocurred to me that I was deluding myself. I worked in retail stores part time for 12 years and I always dreaded the holiday season because the customers were so demanding and it was just a mad house at work. When I started working for the county, I thought "Finally, no more retail during the holidays!" And that was true until I took a promotion to caseworker six years ago.
It is funny that I hadn't really put the two together until today, but I am back doing "retail" during the holidays. The only difference is that our season is longer. It usually starts mid October and doesn't end until February. There is so much emphasis on material things during this time of year. Since I deal with many who are in poverty or close to it, I know they see what others have and want the same for themselves. Some are willing to go to extreme measures to get it (again I will spare you the details). I will admit that there are many who really just want the basics and are thankful for what we give them.
My speciality is working with individuals who claim to have disabilities. Many have nothing. Some have family and friends who will help them, but most are homeless or alone. Some have mental illness. Some have serious physical ailments brought on by substance abuse or just a rough life. Some are not familiar with how the system works and then there are others who could navigate it with their eyes closed.
Tuesday morning I awoke at 3am. As I laid there in the dark, pondering the coming events of the day and wondering how many "customers" I would have, I was particularly stressed. I got out of bed and went into the other room. I knelt down and poured my heart out to the Lord. As I prayed I was overcome with a feeling of peace and then the inspiration began to flow. I was comforted by such an immediate response to my petition. I enjoyed that feeling and wept tears of relief as again my testimony that the Lord knew me personally was strengthened. Even more than that I understood how much the Lord loves the people whom I am serving.
Yesterday and today have continued to be hectic, however the Spirit of the Lord has renewed my strength. My mind has been enlightened and I have been able to carry the burden easier. I am so thankful for this gospel that not only teaches me how to have peace admidst the chaos, but also how to receive inspiration to bless the lives of others. I don't know what the rest of this week will bring, but I do know that the Lord will be there to help me as I work to help those around me.