Anything that is ever worth attaining in life will require hard work, dedication and perseverance in order for us to reach our goals and receive what we have strived for. Many times people give up too soon on their dreams because they run into roadblocks, they face detours or they simply can’t handle the amount of work it takes to bring into realization what was once only an image or dream in their minds. What we must remember and keep in mind is that hard work and dedication not only help us to realize our dreams, but they also strengthen our resolve, give us a backbone of steel and shows us that the reward will be well worth the blood, sweat and tears that we sacrificed in order to stand atop the mountain. The Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi said “the man on top of the mountain didn't fall there.” In order to get ahead, to become a champion, to become the Victor we must put in the hard work, the long hours, the unwavered dedication so that after we have done all that we can do we can then receive the prize of what we first imagined would be ours in the end. (Genesis 3:19) (Colossians 3:23-25)
The billionaire stock mogul Warren Buffett didn’t own a computer or any kind of advanced technology for most of his life, but he did read 5 to 6 hours every day learning about different companies; their pros and cons, why he should invest in some and stay away from others which gave him an advantage over his competition because he was preparing himself for victory. Spending that many hours being diligent in educating himself gave him the tools that were necessary to invest correctly, to know when to buy a certain stock and when to sell a certain stock because it had reached its fullest potential. If every person dedicated themselves in their own area of expertise as Mr. Buffett did then we would have many more millionaires and billionaires in this world who would use their wealth to make this world a better place just that this man has with his acquired wealth. (Proverbs 22:29) (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
Mark Twain said “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” We have to be disciplined, driven and focused on what we wish to bring to fruition. Dedicating our mind, our will and our whole heart will lead us towards our victory. The Bible declares in Galatians 6:4-5 “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” Be encouraged to put in the effort, to be diligent and steadfast being determined that nothing but success will suffice. (Proverbs 12:24)
I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to strive to reach every goal, every dream and every aspiration that lies within your heart so that you will not have any regrets of not trying when you had every opportunity to do so.
YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR IT
The sun hung higher in the sky on that afternoon in March of 1970. The days were longer. Spring was close. Snow banks at the side of the road were melted husks that once towered over my head. The sand thrown by the highway workers, heated by the sun, warmed and melted into the snow and left an icy crust I loved to kick with my winter boots. It crumbled like broken glass.
I made another kick. The ice crust shattered. There it was. A small sliver of plastic with the red letters of the Farmer's milk logo on it. I grabbed it up and smiled. I only needed three more to get fifteen labels.
In 1970, if I clipped fifteen Farmer's logos from their products and sent them in, they'd send me a packet of ten 5x7 inch glossy pictures of NHL hockey players. Hockey was my passion back then. I wanted the pictures of all my heroes on skates, especially the members of the Boston Bruins.
The weather continued to warm as the first day of spring grew closer. The snow slowly melted. I walked along the road that wound through our village and stared into the gutters. Each day the melting snow revealed a few buried wrappers with the red Farmer's logos. I collected them, took them home, washed the mud and grime off and settled at the kitchen table with a pair of scissors. With the careless grace of a non-artistic child, I cut around the labels and added them to the growing pile on the edge of the table.
“I got fifteen, Mum!” I called to my mother in the living room.
“Michael! You're going to put us in the poor house buying stamps and envelopes to send all those labels in.” She mockingly scolded.
“But, Mum! I want to get the complete set, especially all the Boston players. I'm going to put Bobby Orr at the top. He's my favorite.”
“I know he is, Mike.” Mum said and handed me an envelope. “Print the address neatly, so that it gets to the right place.”
When I was done, the envelope was a misshapen mass filled with weather faded labels. We put it in the mail the next day. Each day after, I'd ask, “Mum, did they come yet?”
“Michael, we just mailed them off. For goodness sake, be patient.”
I sighed and went to my room. Some of my friends already received their photos. Where were mine?
A week later, I walked home from school, opened the door and on the table was a brown envelope addressed to Michael Smith. My heart skipped a beat. It was the first mail I ever received. Inside that bad boy were ten photos waiting for my eager hands to sort.
I grabbed it up, ran to my room, and opened it with shaking hands. There they were. Oh how beautiful they were. Bobby Orr wasn't in this packet, but I did get the Bruins' highest scorer - Phil Esposito.
I ran next door to show Jimmy my haul. He got a packet that day too.
For weeks, we kids cleaned the roadside of discarded Farmer's wrappers. In the process of collecting them, we were making the village a cleaner place.
A couple times a week, I received another packet of photos. My collection grew. If I received a photo I already had, I'd put it aside to trade with my friends. As the hockey season drew to a close, my collection was complete. Boston was the top team in the book I received to keep them in. I was proud.
I still have those photos more than forty years later. As I browse through them, I remember those years long ago, when I learned a lesson. I collected labels. I thought the photos were my reward. I had no idea the real reward was learning: if you want something, you have to be dedicated, and you have to work for it.
By Michael T. Smith
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Proverbs 12:11 “He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.”
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”
Proverbs 6:6-8 “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”
Proverbs 16:3 “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today's Selected Poem: WHEN JESUS LOOKS
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem54.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: BEVERLY ANN'S TESTIMONY
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony70.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry