“I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength”— Paul to the Philippians
When I was in seventh grade, I learned a few valuable lessons. My dad asked me to go with him during the week on my summer vacation. He told me he would pay me better than mowing lawns and delivering the newspapers like I had in the past. I had all this crazy energy that needed to be taken care of. Playing sports always helped. I would play after work.
Working 40 hour weeks, was to me, a right of passage. Like my ancestral forefathers, I would prove my right of passage, not adulthood. Daily, I would get up at 4:45 in the morning. Anticipating my dad waking up and as soon as I heard him, I would rush to get ready. I never had a problem waking up in the wee hours, so this was just second nature.
Now here’s the lesson I want to pass on to you.
You give to life more than you take, always give more, and when you think you’ve given all you have, reach into your souls and give more!
“Never be a taker. Be a giver. I have found that when you give to life, life has a way of giving back more.
I have also seen what happens when you take from life. Some people take from life more than they give.”
I saw this first hand when my dad was a foreman, later on in late teen life. I became an apprentice, yet my dad would give me challenges. I was doing things a journeyman would do. I enjoyed the challenges since I wanted to learn as much and absorb as much as possible.
This is another lesson to you, always learn twice as much as you teach. Never get stuck on thinking that you have learned enough. Because the day you think you know everything, is the minute that you stop hearing God, since He sends people to teach us daily, along with His word.
Back to my story…
As I worked, I remembered wanting to be better than I was the day before. Whatever mistakes I made in the past, I would use it to get better. I learned this playing sports. This, I applied in everything I did.
Here’s the moral to this story—there were men twice my age who were happy getting paid journeymen wages, but would ask my dad if they could sand the counter pieces which, when done, would be shipped to some of the hotels all over the west. I found this so peculiar that after seeing this going on a while, I asked my dad why they weren’t doing more specialized things, like staining or finish spraying the counters. My dad looked at me and said, “They don’t want to do it because they’re afraid of ruining the finished product.”
I was stunned, I was in my teens, and my dad had given me that responsibility. I had no idea that an apprentice wasn’t even allowed to go into the spray finishing booth, let alone grab the spray gun and gently move from side to side with gentle fluidity, so the clear spray did not under or over coat the finished counter wood pieces. I was doing what I had seen my dad do. I learned from observing.
But the thing I learned that summer vacation was that you give more to this life than you take. You learn more from life than you take.
Always remember that what you give to life, is what you will take in life. The more vigorously you give, the more intensely vibrant your life will be. I’m not talking about everything being perfect and rosy, because life brings tough lessons your way. This is for us to learn and pass on to others.
Don’t be like those journeymen who were too afraid to step out of their comfort zones, but did not mind getting paid as specialized experts! These people took from life more than they gave at work. And one thing I have experienced, whatever a person does at work, they will also do in their personal lives.
The last thing, always remember that God has given you unique and personal gifts for you to take on in life. Don’t be afraid to step out in life, away from where you find yourselves comfortable. When you have reached the end of the line of your comfort zone, step over that line and start learning again. Give more, teach more, learn twice as much.
You give more of yourself to all because God gave Himself entirely for all…