Found Under Pleasing God
Training for Ministry
When I first enrolled in seminary, I made an appointment to talk to the dean of men to see if I could get a room in the dormitory. When I walked into his office, the first thing he asked was, "Are you applying for the janitor's job?"
"No," I said. "I'm here to see if any rooms are available in the dorm."
"I'm sorry, the dormitory is full. We’ll put you on the waiting list. But if you know anyone who wants a job as janitor, please send him to see me."
I told him that I wasn't interested and thanked him for his time. When I left his office and walked outside, I prayed, Lord, please provide a room for me. God stopped me on the sidewalk and spoke to my heart, "Go take the job."
Take the job? I prayed for a room, not a job. But I knew in my heart I needed to obey. Immediately I did an about-face, walked into the dean's office, and said, "I'll take that janitor’s job." He hired me on the spot.
At first, I had to battle my pride. I thought about how over-qualified I was—I had a college degree and was working on my Master's. I was given a seminary janitor's shirt and a little pushcart stocked with soap, gloves, toilet paper, toilet bowl cleaner, and a brush. Every day I pushed that cart down the hallway, cleaned toilets, scrubbed showers, and emptied trashcans.
It wasn’t long before I discovered that cleaning those bathrooms in the men's dorm was part of my spiritual education. I learned to do those jobs that no one else wanted. As I cleaned those toilets every day, I made a surprising discovery. God spoke to my heart more clearly than I had ever heard Him before. I meditated on Scriptures as I worked, and God gave me insights into his Word. I then realized that cleaning toilets was part of my training for ministry. If I wasn't willing to serve God as a custodian, how could He trust me with other responsibilities?I spent my entire three years in seminary cleaning toilets and attending classes. I'm convinced that half of what I learned in seminary was in the classrooms and the other half was in the bathrooms. I also learned to respect and thank janitors for the work they perform. God used that job to teach me that in whatever tasks He calls me to do in life, I am actually serving Him. (Kent Crockett, Making Today Count for Eternity, Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2001, pp. 144-145)