March 7, 2013

Spilled Water.

The chaos of the lobby surrounded me. I was caught up in conversation and observing throughout the hustle and bustle of the lunch rush. It was my first day working at Arctic Circle, and throughout the midst of the training, I found myself discouraged trying to keep up. I had only been an employee for two hours, and I had managed to spill the entire bucket of mop water in the cooking station, and splattered ice cream everywhere from not holding a cup correctly in the milkshake machine.

My sweet coworker, Leslie, had rushed to my side to help, “It will be okay. I’ll show you better next time.” I remember her turning towards the customer side of the counter, offering an explanation, “She’s in training. First day's always the toughest!” They nodded in understanding, and continued placing orders.

Haven’t we all been that food server?

We start something new. Maybe a even a God-driven dream. We try so hard, and have such good intentions.

And then we mess up.

The temptation is to throw our apron on the floor and bolt out the door.

Or hide in the back for the rest of the shift.

Or somehow try to justify and say, “It’s not my fault.”

Those responses come from deep fears and false beliefs. We think that to be successful or help others we can’t mess up.

But I’m here to tell you the opposite is true: to be successful and help others you must mess up.

It’s the only way you learn.

And letting others see your mistakes helps them learn too.

So if you spill your mop bucket today, here’s what you can do…

Since you’re already on your knees, take a moment to pray and ask God for his perspective on this situation. If you are in the wrong, admit the fault, and make it right. If it’s simply a human mistake, ask what you can learn.

Then ‘fess up as quickly as possible to those who are watching. Say, “I’m in training. I don’t know how to do this but I want to learn. I need help.”

Then receive any feedback that’s offered, especially from those with more experience than you. And apply it.

If you spill the bucket again, repeat the process.

We all fail on our way to success.

There’s simply no other way to go about it.

If you look at someone and can’t see their “spill the bucket” moments it’s not because they don’t have them. It’s because they’re hiding them. And in doing so, they’re holding back a gift from you.

So let’s be generous with others by sharing our mistakes with them.

And gentle with ourselves by receiving the grace that God has freely given.

We’re all learning to serve together.

And one spilled bucket at a time, we’re getting better.

XoXo, Kess

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