Work Ethic…I consider myself very fortunate that my Dad instilled a very strong work ethic in me. As I look back over the years, I can see how my Dad instilled this in me, through actions more so than words. Oh, there had been words of reinforcement…but he spoke volumes through his actions.
He is the father of five children and was the sole provider. Mom stayed home and kept us kids and the house in order. Dad’s vocation was called a “Machine Repairman” for a large forging company. This company actually provided all of the large ring fittings for the Alaskan pipeline. The fittings were 10 to 12 feet in diameter, so you can just imagine the size of the machines it took to manufacturer them He used to tell us that some of these machines were larger than our two story house. Huge! His responsibility was to figure out what went wrong when a machine did not work and then fix it. He would work tirelessly when one of these machines went down until the problem was found, repairs made and the machine was back up running.
Dad never complained about his job…he just did it. He never had aspirations of greener pastures or climbing the corporate ladder. In fact, several times during his 30+ year with this company, he was encouraged to move into a supervisory or management position. Dad would say: “Nope…that’s not for me…too many headaches…I just want to fix the machines”. He retired after 30 something years as a machine repairman. Dad did not complain…he just did his job…no matter the task or what it took…he did his job…that was what he was paid to do…so he did it.
There were times when I helped Dad with some repair or renovation around the house or some side job that he was hired to do. It was during those times Dad would say, “Kenny, if you are going to do something, you have to do it right. If you are going to work for someone, you have to do the job that you promised them…no shortcuts”.
I thought about these conversations with my Dad this morning as I was putting in some new kitchen light fixtures for Gail. I installed one without any problems…but the second one was a little persnickety. When I finally had it installed, i realized that I left out a very important part…the cover for the electrical box that I installed in the ceiling. For a fleeting moment,I considered just leaving the cover off…after all no one would ever know but me. Then, I thought about the words of my Dad…”Kenny, if you are going to do something, you have to do it right. If you are going to work for someone, you have to do the job that you promised them…no shortcuts”. I took the fixture apart, installed the box cover and did the job right!
As I was finishing up the job with some touch-up paint, Colossians 3:23-25 came to mind…
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
It may be a stretch to make a direct application on my little job to the verse…but I do believe there is an overriding spiritual application to do whatever we do as if we are doing it for the Lord.
My goal in this life is just that…to do whatever I do as if I were doing it for the Lord. Imagine the work ethic! I am not there yet. But, what if we all approached our jobs, our marriages, our families, our relationships and our service with Colossians 3:23-25 in mind?
Ummm….wouldn’t that be “giving our life away” as Jesus taught us?