HARD WORK CAN BE ITS OWN REWARD.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Proverbs 14:20-23.
Verse of the Day: “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23, NIV).
Luke watched as his dad split wood. He swung a large, two-sided ax in a circular motion, in a rhythm that nearly hypnotized his son.
“Whoosh! Whack! Crack!” went the sound of his dad’s work, and Luke and Dad exchanged smiles from time to time. Both seemed happy; Luke enjoyed watching, and Dad enjoyed working. He used a big, flat-topped segment of log as a base. On this he set the pieces to be split. With a rocking windup, he slung the ax over his head and into the wood with splitting force. Many of the logs split completely with one blow. In others, however, the ax lodged deep into the grain; without removing the ax, Dad lifted it aloft again and slammed the wood once more onto the log base, splitting it neatly into two pieces.
With the largest sections of wood, he created a crack into which he placed a metal wedge, called a mall. Dropping his ax, he would then use a sledgehammer and, in the same fluid motion, would drive the wedge deep into the wood.
“Daddy,” Luke said, when at last his dad took a break in his work. “Do you like chopping wood?”
Dad wiped the sweat off his forehead with his sleeve. He inhaled deeply, leaned his sledgehammer against the stump, and sat down on the log beside his son. “Yes, I do,” he said. “I like chopping wood.”
“Is it hard?” Luke asked.
Dad nodded. “Yes, it’s hard work, all right.”
“Then why do you like it?”
“I suppose I like it,” Dad answered, “partly because it’s hard work. You may be too young to understand this now, Luke, but hard work can be very satisfying. It feels good to work. It’s even fun sometimes.”
“It is?” Luke asked, amazement in his voice.
“Oh, yeah,” Dad said. “When I get into a rhythm swinging that ax or sledgehammer, the motion and effort of the work can be as much fun as rowing a boat.”
“Daddy?” Luke said, twisting his face into a hopeful expression. “Can I chop wood with you . . . when I get bigger?”
Dad nodded. “When you get bigger, Son,” he said, “I hope you’ll still want to.”
TO DISCUSS: Have you ever enjoyed working for the work itself? If so, tell about it. What was fun or satisfying about it? Of all the kinds of jobs you do (cleaning your room, taking out trash, and so on), which do you enjoy most? How can you make the others more fun? Do you take more satisfaction out of a job done well or one done poorly? Why?
TO PRAY: “Heavenly Father, please grant us the satisfaction of knowing that our tasks are done well.”