21 Jun Work as Unto the Lord..
Early one Saturday morning, I accompanied my favourite half to a business summit at a wonderful church in Umoja. He had been invited as a guest speaker and was the first on the program, scheduled to deliver his talk at 8.30am.
It was quite a task peeling myself out of bed at 6am, having had an early-morning function on Friday myself, but I figured I might as well get it done and take my rest in the afternoon.
Besides, I really enjoy attending such gigs with my hubby, and being his unofficial armour-bearer – gather his notes, listen attentively to his presentation, nod at appropriate moments, hand him a cool glass of H2o – generally be a supportive spouse.
Plus there are some unexpected benefits to be had sometimes. Like the quiet breakfast we had together, having arrived too early at the venue and found no one in sight.
“Chai? Eh.. hapa ni kanisa,” we were promptly informed by the guard, when we asked if there was somewhere we could have a cuppa within the compound.
So we had no choice but to turn the car and go look for breakfast nearby.
The only place we could find close enough, however, was a pub cum restaurant – a small, two-storey establishment, a short distance away from the church. It had a complex name, difficult to remember, but we did manage to catch the word “Lounge” somewhere in it.
It was furnished with round tables and high-backed lounge seats, light brown in colour, and a lone television set, tuned to Citizen Tv. In sight were four members staff – two stationed behind the counter, one waiting to serve, and the other diligently sweeping out the remnants of Friday night’s revelry.
We were clearly the first customers of the day. The night had had its own.
As we ventured in, I wondered what they thought of us and if we were welcome, not quite being their.. er ..target market. A bespectacled middle-aged gent, spruced up in a three-piece suit, and his spouse, in a calf-length dress, worthy of any mama kanisa, walking into the pub at 7.42am.
But they were warm and friendly, quickly welcoming us in with a smile.
“Tunaweza pata chai?” we asked hesitantly.
“Mnaweza tumia chai ya white, chai special, kahawa ya black, kahawa ya white, mayai, sausage, au mandazi,” the waitress replied with a smile. She clearly knew her stuff. Quickly helped us settle down and went off to get our brekkers.
For me black coffee and eggs. For my hubby white coffee and mandazi-mayai – a dish only he can explain; one egg – kindly make it yolk-less – together with a sausage, folded neatly into a mandazi, at a certain angle. Yep.
I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been to such an establishment. At least a decade, I thought. But I was pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the staff and their total dedication to our comfort.
Our waitress produced the mandazi-mayai with a quickness, as if she did it every day, all day, for the enjoyment of at least two dozen other eclectic diners.
But as she served us, I thought about how odd we must have looked, to her and her colleagues.
An older couple, obviously dressed for an occasion, come in, sit down, ask for coffee and mandazi-mayai, pause to pray for it and even request a switch from Citizen to Hope Tv, as they eat.
Which couldn’t be done, we were informed, as the DJ would be out for a bit, having been quite occupied during the night.
But if we looked like anything other than their regular clientele, the staff did not seem in any way disturbed. They made us feel right at home, and we thoroughly enjoyed our coffee and eggs. And of course mandazi.
It was a nice breakfast, shared in friendly, albeit unusual surroundings, just before a challenging task ahead. And later as we bade the staff good bye, our young waitress thanked us, and then leaned over and whispered quietly to me:
“You look beautiful Mum.”
Aww…she had my heart at mandazi-mayai! And now this..
And later, I listened closely as my hubby delivered his talk at the church – an interactive session on Excellence in the Workplace.
“As Christians, we are called to exhibit excellence in the workplace,” he shared. “We are called to be enthusiastic in our work, and to work as unto the Lord and not to man..”
And as I reflected on this later, I thought about the staff at the pub.
I wondered if the young waitress and her colleagues had any choice other than to work where they did. Who knows what circumstances might have led them there, serving us breakfast so early in the morning?
And I thought – we may not be in control of the circumstances that lead us to work where we do.
But we can certainly control the way we handle the work that is entrusted to us.
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Colossians 3:23
(First published on Facebook, November 2018)