Patrick came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front garden.
The door of his wife's car was open as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the hall, Patrick found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over and the rug was piled up against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.
In the kitchen dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter tops and the refrigerator door was open wide. Dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
Patrick quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for Valerie. He was worried she might be ill and perhaps she collapsed or something more serious may have happened.
He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out of the bathroom door. When he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and even more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and sink.
As he rushed to the bedroom, he found Valerie still curled up in the bed in her pajamas reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went.
Patrick looked at Valerie, bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"
Valerie again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me sarcastically what in the world I do all day?" "Yes," was Patrick's startled reply.
Valerie smiled once more and answered, "Well, today... I didn't do it!"
A cute little story... but it also carries a big message.
Whatever work God has given you to do -- do it earnestly and wholeheartedly! Don't be impressed with yourself and don't compare yourself to others. And, try to lend a helping hand to someone in need.
Helping others, is exactly what Jesus did! He didn't make it easy for himself by avoiding people's troubles -- he waded right in and helped them out. Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding, He healed those who were afflicted, He fed the hungry and He offered "living waters" to the woman at the well.
Those of us who are stronger than another, need to find a way to help a weaker brother or sister in the Lord. We must always be "alert" to that which is going on around us, so that we don't miss the opportunity and we must always be willing to lend a helping hand.
So, reach out to that one who needs your assistance and then do what you can to lighten their load. It might seem like a very small thing to you, but to them it could be an answer to their prayers.
If we fail to help someone, if we overlooked or ignore someone -- it is Christ Jesus we are failing and overlooking.
Our strength is for service... not status.