The joy of hard work and reaping the benefits

by | September 6, 2018 8:10 am

Grayson and Anderson worked so hard, I just had to reward them…besides, they are so stinking cute. But, honestly, it was the hard work that I rewarded – not their cuteness.

Sammie and I, plus Whitney’s dad, had helped load the second rental truck – thereby becoming accomplices to their move to Nashville. Those of us left behind weren’t too crazy about the move, but, just the same, we had helped. After loading up, Sammie and I accompanied Stephen, Whitney, and the boys to their new home in suburban Mount Juliet.

As we began to unload the truck, Grayson and Anderson pitched in like Trojans. They had helped, a little bit, in Bristol, but now they started carrying “stuff” in a way that was beyond their years.

Grayson’s 7, now, and Anderson is 5. None of the adults asked them to help. They just jumped into the action. Finally, we had to insist that they stop.

After we finished, I paid them…$10 for Grayson and five bucks for Anderson. I would have compensated them equally, but all I had was a 10 and a five. It was easier to make a lame excuse – “since Grayson’s older, he gets a little more” – than to drive somewhere to break a bill. Of course Stephen had carried the heaviest loads. With lots of muscle packed on his 6’5” frame you would expect that. Whitney probably worked harder…pound for pound and inch for inch…than any of us, but I was not about to pay the adults for moving their own things. Besides, I still considered them co-conspirators in taking our grandchildren to Nashville, even though Whitney, with mixed emotions, had left Bristol through a flood of tears.

So “G” and “A” had earned a few bucks for pitching in to help. I remember being paid a nickel a bucket to pick up rocks, when I was their age…but that was in the dark ages.

A few weeks earlier, the Nash grandchildren were in from West Virginia, and I was mowing the lawn. Allen, who recently turned 13, offered to help. So I let him push the mower. He ended up mowing the whole yard, and I rewarded him for his labor. Although he was reluctant to accept money for doing something that he actually enjoyed, he finally pocketed the money and enjoyed spending it as much as he had enjoyed mowing.

Scripture refers to work and labor hundreds of times. The Bible speaks of God’s work, evil works, manual labor, the handiwork of artisans, and many other meanings of the word. Working with our hands is certainly viewed as a privilege. Sadly, in this day and time, many who live within the borders of our great nation fail to recognize the joy of work. Perhaps their parents didn’t assign chores for them to do.

Examples of Biblical teaching about work – as in job, occupation or profession – include Paul’s writings to the Corinthians and also the Thessalonians, “…work(ing) with your own hands…”

Then there is the strong admonition in 2 Thessalonians that if someone refuses to work, he shouldn’t eat. Many times when the Bible speaks of work or works, it refers to spiritual exercise. 1 Corinthians 15:58 commands that we be “…steadfast, firm, unmoving, excelling in God’s work, knowing that our labor for the Lord is not in vain.”

What an honor it is to work for the Lord. Whether our labor is physical or spiritual, we will be blessed when we endeavor to please God through all our efforts.

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