Sunday, April 17, 2005

On Hard Work

"All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty."
Prov 14:23

My friend Joan was commenting on her blog about how so many wanna-be writers would like to skip all the work that goes into becoming published. I laughed as I read it because I, too, have met many, many writers who want to hear something other than what I have to tell them.

And that is simply, "It takes a lot of work."

But isn't that true of anything worth accomplishing? I remember my parents making me earn the money to get something I wanted, telling me that it will mean more to me by earning it than if they simply gave it to me. At the time, I was less than thrilled with their words of wisdom, but it was indeed wisdom. The things we have worked the hardest on, mean the most to us in the end. I took care of the bike I worked to pay for much better than I took care of the one I didn't. It's human nature.

And God understands the nature of man. Yes, He could speak a word and every wrong thing in our life could be made right. Every mountain would have to move and every obstacle would disappear. But if He did that, where would that leave us? We would be greedy and spoiled, expecting a handout every time there was a need, unwilling to labor and content to let God do all the work.

Now I'm not saying that God doesn't help us, on the contrary, He helps us much more than we deserve and it is only through His power that we are able to accomplish anything at all. But in His wisdom and mercy, He does allow us to labor for things. Hard work always brings a profit - but many of us, myself being the biggest culprit, simply don't want to do the hard work. And it is as true in the spiritual as it is in the natural. I whine and complain about my weight, but then balk about doing the everyday hard work that it would take to achieve a different result. A person calls me and wants to be a writer, but complains that they don't have the time, money, energy, etc, that it would take to achieve a result in the world of publishing.

It's a pervasive cultural problem with a solution few want to hear. Do the work, and you will get results. Spend the time with God, and You will get to know Him better. Labor through His power and strength, and all things are possible. It's the way He designed everything from the beginning. He knows us too well, and loves us too much to let us miss out on the blessings He wants to give us on the journey.

Here's to the journey.