This summer I am working at a swimming pool store. It’s so random and yet it’s the farthest thing from random. I stock the shelves and test customers’ pool water and then instruct them on what chemicals they need.

I’m getting pretty good at telling customers what they need by looking at a printed sheet of paper that has step by step instructions on how much of what they need and when to add it to the pool. It’s funny that they look at me like I’m an expert, and for most of them, I know more about their pool than they do. One of the hardest things to do is answer the phone when it rings because pronouncing, “Quality Pools, this is Taylor,” clearly but quick enough to sound legit is difficult with all the S’s and T’s in that introduction.

Some days get slow and I get a break from tripping over syllables, or having to explain to an incredulous customer that pools are expensive, and they have algae, so… it is going to cost them a lot of money. During these slow periods, I sit and think, read, or talk with God. I am even writing a collection of my thoughts and happenings at the store because I believe that though this job seems small, God is with me, and my encounters are worth remembering (keep your eyes opened for it!). Aside from working at the pool store, I am invested in two other jobs, both of which I will discuss more about in the next post.

When I first started working at Quality Pools of Anderson, I would get restless during the slow days and scroll through social media to pass the time, wondering why in the world I was working at a pool store. I have an English degree from Anderson University; I should be at a better paying, full time job, not barely getting by on $8 an hour.

And it’s not that it is a bad job; it’s actually a great part time job. I had been looking for a job for 2 months and had found nothing, but at dinner with some friends one night, I casually told a guy named Ryan (whom I just met) that I was looking for a job. Ryan then said he was looking to hire someone, and because I knew God had orchestrated meeting Ryan, I accepted the job.

One of my favorite things about this job are the people I serve and work with. They all have unique and sometimes hilarious stories that they usually tell you without asking for it. Some people bring their water sample in canning or moonshine jars. Others have farmland and tell you about the big black snakes they find around their pools. Again, if you want to hear specific stories, they are coming soon!

It’s hard to accept your present life when you constantly compare its fullness and glory with the one you dream of having in a few years.

One morning as I was in the large storage container loading up chemicals and asking God what I was doing at a pool store, He brought Joseph from the Bible to my mind. Here was a guy who had it a lot worse than me (but really, I am so blessed). He was sold by his brothers to slave traders, ends up in Egypt as a slave, wrongly thrown in prison, and had to wake up every day doing work for another man for the rest of his life. I’m sure he didn’t want that life, a life where he was completely in the hands of someone else. But he knew God was with him and gave it all he had. He was faithful with the little that he was given, and eventually, God made him the 2nd most powerful man in Egypt.

God then said to me, “Give your best like Joseph. Make the place you are in the best you can make it. Joseph helped build an empire that fed the world; build an empire at the pool store and feed the hearts of others. For I am with you.”

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m going to be faithful with the little that God has given me. I try to pray blessings for the store each morning; their success is my success. I try to stay off my phone more because there is always something I can do. When I’m helping a customer and blessing them to have a wonderful day, I’m building an empire of loyal customers. When I’m stocking chemicals, I’m building an empire’s warehouses. When I’m sweeping the floor, taking out the trash, or cleaning the windows, I’m building an attractive and organized empire, and I begin to appreciate the little things.

It’s almost like I am plowing a whole desert this summer so God can plant his heart in it.

Until September, when I arrive at the 18 Inch Journey, I will serve a place that wasn’t at first my heart’s home, like Joseph in Egypt. But then I realized that God makes his home wherever I am. And in serving this place where God is, He is preparing my heart and soul for the two-month adventure in the mountains of North Carolina, and the ministry he is preparing me for in Anderson.

 

“You receive Him to the amount that you trust Him.”

– Bill Johnson

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