HARD WORK… No matter what…
I was a bit lazy when it came to school work. All through high school and college, I made fine grades… I never really had a problem with comprehension… just motivation. But, I wasn’t lazy when it came to most other things in life. I worked hard, played hard… and to this day, one of the major lessons learned from my mom was the value of hard work… no matter what.
1. Hard work as an example to others… My mom taught me that the way to lead was to outwork everyone else. You can’t expect others to do hard work if you aren’t willing yourself. My mom was known for outworking others… she never stayed still. That also earned her respect (or fear sometimes, I think)… to the point that, sometimes with family and friends, people expected Joye to have the answer for what to do next. Man, that could be annoying… (but now I’m just like her.) I would guess that many of us still find ourselves in situations and think… “Joye would know how to get this done…” I pray that working hard pays off as an example to others.
2. My mom mostly worked for the most important things… a life of ministry, missions, and serving others. Mom didn’t know what to do if her hands weren’t dirty in ministry. She was always in someone’s business… serving them. Over the final years of her life and my Dad’s life, she served Dad more than anyone. But she never stopped ministering to others. As she suffered from cancer herself, she traveled to visit friends who were suffering, she sat at the hospital for long hours with Dad… there are so many stories of her willingness to serve… to do the most important, Kingdom things first. She and Dad hated to miss gathering with their church family on Sundays and would do EVERYTHING they could to attend. Even tithe checks were written out and given to their pastor as they lay in hospice care. Mom understood what was valuable. I pray that my life will be marked by working hard for the most important things… for things that will last forever.
3. My Mom worked hard in the hardest of times. Chemo treatments were beating her up… she would head to chemo then to work for a half day. She was guilty of hiding her pain from others… not quite letting us in to care for her… but she never quit. She spent her last days more concerned about Dad than about herself. She wanted her visitors to know there was cake in the fridge. No matter what… my Mom did not quit. I pray that I can be a person of faithful perseverance… just like my Mom.
My Mom would tell me “Brad, you’re working too hard. You need to slow down.” Kettle… Pot. I would say, “I learned it by watching you!” I am a bit of a workaholic now… and I know where I got it… But I pray that I will work hard for that which matters… for His glory. Thanks, Mom for working so hard… it made me a better man.