Sacrifice in the Ordinary Moments

One of my favorite parts of my job is how ordinary it is. I spend the week assisting folks in everyday situations like buying a sandwich at Subway, opening doors or doing homework. All very ordinary tasks. Most people may find this boring and monotonous, and it certainly can be, but I’m grateful for their uncomplicated need for support.

Before I started my job as a Direct Support Professional, I was working as a Petroleum Transfer Engineer (a.k.a. a gas attendant). I had an opportunity for a college education, but I couldn’t finish and went back to my high school job at a gas station. It was pretty easy to feel bad for myself; the people around me were moving along through life just as they “should” and I was stuck. Ugh!

I worked at the gas station and other odd jobs for about 2.5 years before I found this job (which is a story for another time). By that time I just wanted out of the gas station and I didn’t care how.

The first person I served was a 15-year-old high school student who was doing second-grade math and reading. When I compared his challenges to mine, I didn’t seem to be in such a bad predicament. In fact, his simple need allowed me to serve gratefully: I now had a place in the world to do something meaningful.

I couldn’t and still can’t  do very complicated things. But the folks I serve don’t need complicated. They need simple service like being reminded to say ‘thank you’, to be handed a fork at dinner or to be congratulated when they learn a new skill.

I am still and may forever be a “college drop out”, but there is no room for that despair or self-deprecation in my heart after all of the gratitude and fulfillment I feel for doing something as important as helping a person learn to say “hello”.

Sacrifice self-pity for love of the other.

Come to life.

We’re all waiting for you.

During the week, Matt is a mentor for individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. On the weekends, he is a drummer for Full Armor Band.
You can find more content by Matt and his band at