The Cheery McDonalds Worker

Isn’t it funny how sometimes God uses the most unexpected things to put life in perspective for us? This morning, He did it for me using none other than a McDonalds bag.

My alarm went off at 6:00 am. I didn’t get up until almost 6:45 am. I laid there, not wanting to get up, dozing off, cuddling with my dog, mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, and dreading getting up. When I finally did get out of the bed, I rushed around the house like a crazy person to get ready in time, and finally left for work. Now, I know this doesn’t sound like it, but I truly am a morning person. I love getting up early, getting my day started, and taking time to relax, drink a cup of coffee, and spend time with the Lord before the rest of the world starts bustling around. But, sometimes, I just get in a slump, and I would be lying if I said that it’s caused by anything other than ungratefulness.

On my way to work, I still wasn’t thinking about anything other than the nasty, misty fog that seems like it will never go away or how much I wish I could have a day off to get to the never ending list of things that “need to be done” around the house. That’s when I pulled through McDonalds for breakfast and it happened. It was like Jesus took my face in His hands and said DO YOU GET IT NOW?

I have a nice office job at a very prestigious company that’s been around for over 100 years (since 1902)  and I was fortunate enough to intern with the company every summer through college, and then come on full time as soon as I graduated. However, the neighborhood around my office is slowing deteriorating, and getting more and more unsafe. The McDonalds I stopped at is right beside my office, and I pulled through the drive thru without giving it a second thought.

I placed my order, waited my turn, and pulled up to the window to pay and get my food. Instead of a bag being held out the window and a monotone recitation of the price of my food, I was greeted with a warm, genuine smile and a sincere compliment of my outfit (which I hadn’t had much time to think about this morning). The girl in the window had sparkly eyes and a cheerful spirit that made me take a good hard look at myself.

It was like Jesus said, here is this girl in such a bad part of town, working at McDonalds, and she’s finding more joy in where I have her right now than you are. Here I had complained all morning about having to get up and go to work, drive in the fog, and not have time to do the things I felt like “need” to get done, and this girl definitely got up before me, drove into work before me, and is doing a job that pays less and requires more physical exertion (as far as standing on her feet and opening a cold window all day). I stared at my bag of food and what did it say? I’m lovin’ it.

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Jesus definitely has a sense of humor, because at that moment, it felt like that slogan was there just for me. For ungrateful, too-sleepy-to-function, tired-of-the-same-old-routine me. The truth is, no matter what I think I “need” to be doing, gratefulness for where Jesus has me right now and trust in His perfect plan has to come first. I have to be lovin’ it. I have to find joy in where He has me. I can’t let myself get so burnt out or tired or frustrated that I loose sight of the joy Jesus gives when we focus on Him.

I write all this to say that if you’re like me, and it’s easy for you to get distracted by life’s ups and downs and lose your focus on the Father, make it your first priority today. Instead of putting your to do list first or your frustrations first or your worries first, put Him first, and the rest will just fall into place. He’s a good, good Father.

I would also like to thank the girl at McDonalds who allowed God to speak to me through her smile this morning. I know there’s a slim chance that she’ll ever stumble across this blog, but just in case… I want her to know she had a huge impact on my life today. You never know what a smile can do for someone!

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