Finding God In America

A Fast Lesson On God’s Blessings!

Not for all the gold…this is what she told me as she cleaned the mirrors in a fast-food restaurant. She would not give up her job for all the “gold in the world,” she announced! We had simply stopped to grab a burger as we traveled down the road--as we have done many times in the past, but this was one stop that I will never forget.

Her joy was so evident as she proudly announced to me, a stranger, that she would soon be celebrating 15 years of service at McDonald’s. It took me by surprise when her voice carried across the room toward me as I grabbed some straws and napkins for our meal. I turned to look at her directly, and once again she told me that she had worked for McDonalds for 15 years!! I smiled in acknowledgment, and was happy for her rejoicing!

Later, with a stop into the restroom, I met this woman once again, cleaning the mirrors and emptying the trash. She could barely contain herself as she began to tell me once again of the celebration planned in her honor. Ronald McDonald would be there, there would be a cake and a free lunch and all the people from her home would join her. Even those she used to know in another town would be coming, and this place would be packed! Even though it was still seven months away, she was already getting prepared! It seemed to me like she was planning a wedding, looking forward to being a bride, not celebrating 15 years on a job that most would consider less than desirable.

“A Fine Lady”

But to her, this was it! This was her big day, and she was going to celebrate! She loved her boss, and he had told her she was a “fine lady.” I was slightly amused at her excitement, but as I left to meet up with my husband again, God was showing me something that I had missed. Here was a woman cleaning the restroom in a fast-food restaurant, and she would not give up this job for all the gold in the world! We struggle through our lives to be “successful” and many of us would consider 15 years at McDonald’s to be less than a success, and yet to this wonderful woman it was an achievement worth celebrating and announcing to all.

Instead of hiding in shame, she was full of pride at this accomplishment. Inside of trying to “climb the ladder of success,” she had reached the top already! She was not concerned about the thoughts and opinions of those who had achieved more in this life, those that might be considered wiser, smarter, or more acceptable to society. She was exactly where she wanted to be, where God had placed her, and she could not have been happier.

The joy that she shared with me as I spent this short period of time in “her” restaurant, will stay with me for a very long time. The pleasure that she found in life will forever change the way I view “success.” She was accomplished, she was successful, and she knew it. No one had to convince her of it, pay her six figures to assure her of it, or set her up in a large corner office with a view to make it real. She knew it in her heart, and I knew as I left, that God wanted me to know it too.

Welcome to Chowchilla!

She asked me where I was from and when I told her, she then welcomed me to Chowchilla! I hadn’t even taken the time to notice the location of this McDonald’s, but never again will I pass through Chowchilla and not remember her--and wonder what she is doing, and how her celebration went with Ronald. I’m sure it was an occasion that caused her to lose sleep the night before, and maybe many nights before. I’m sure as the day ended; she relived each moment in her mind as to how wonderful it was. She would think of it no other way. This was her big day, and everyone who mattered to her would be there with her. If I were close by on the day of her 15-year celebration, I would stop in too, just to see her joy one more time!

As we drove on down the road, I could not help but think of her, cleaning the restroom mirror, handing me a paper towel and sharing this moment in her life with me. The joy of the Lord can be found most anywhere if we will simply slow down long enough to experience it. What I witnessed on this day in Chowchilla touched me deeply because of the sheer simplicity of how God can bless a life. Though some may only see what’s “missing,” she felt nothing but complete fulfillment, because the joy of the Lord filled every part of who she was in Him.

Seek me, and you will find me.

It may not be what we expect, it may seem there has been some sort of accident, that the difficulty some have been handed in life is unfair and they have not been given an equal opportunity of being all that they can “be.”
I wonder… could it be that she is the most blessed of us all?
True joy is worth its weight in gold!
She was one rich “fine lady.”

Thank you Christine, and Congratulations on your 15-Year Anniversary!!