Our family recently said goodbye to my father after a rather sudden onset of bone cancer. The Sunday before Thanksgiving he was taken to the hospital, previously he had been diagnosed as asymptomatic, and on Thanksgiving morning while we all gathered around him in the hospital room we sang and wept as he left his earthly body.
We have great comfort and confidence in our Heavenly Father’s goodness. As a young man my dad met Jesus and his life was transformed. Our family has not been the same since. His faith and consistency left was a powerful influence on many and in particular he instilled a strong work ethic in his children.
I can still remember one Saturday morning when I was 12 years old. My dad came downstairs woke me up and sat on the end of my bed. “Woodly, would you like to go with us as we help Pastor Ron move today?” he asked. I squinted my eyes and rolled my head back into my pillow slightly arching my back and responded “Not really.” Dad answered, “Well get up because we’re going!” Or course I inquired why he asked if he was going to make me do it anyway? Dad said, “I wanted to give you the opportunity to do the right thing.” Boom! Just like that.
Throughout my life I have reflected on that conversation and countless other examples that reinforced this: some things you must do regardless of how you feel. For 10 years as a kid I had a paper route and regardless of what was going on in my own life or in the world the papers needed to get delivered. These jobs and roles formed something inside of me about the value of work. (Disclaimer: there were many days that my mom filled in for me over those 10 years and I have to give credit where credit is due.)
Banning Liebscher leader of the Jesus Culture movement says, “People that do something, do something.” It sounds so simple yet how many of our great ideas have had no follow through? We impress each other with the grandeur of our ideas and silently scoff at the one who is actually doing the hard work. We believe this lie that if they would slow down long enough to listen to our amazing ideas then they would not have to work so hard. However we are the one who is being deceived. Ten years from now when they are reaping the reward of their labor we continue in the same place wondering what happened. Proverbs 13:4 says, “The lazy person craves, yet receives nothing, but the desires of the diligent are satisfied.”
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