My Dad worked in the coal mines of Novinger for seven years. Seven years is considered 14 years as the coal mine calculated it. Coal mining is notoriously arduous work, but Dad didn't mind. That's what kept food on his family's table.
My Dad's inability to read or write did not keep him from finding honorable work after the coal-mining years. Whether he was digging ditches, operating forklifts, tearing up concrete with a jack-hammer, or trading and selling animals to make ends meet, we never missed a meal.
These days it seems that few have had the opportunity to work hard, and to gain happiness from their work.
My Dad was a strict enforcer of chores being done at our house. Everyone pulled his or her weight. We had a little farm of sorts, with lots of chickens, horses, dogs, goats, and whatever else Dad was trading at the time. When I would get home from school, the rule was clear—chores are to be done first! This included packing two five-gallon-buckets at a time, filled with water and food, out to the troughs. In the winter, the ice that had formed in the water troughs would have to be broken up with a small sledge hammer. This was frigid and time consuming work!
My family also had a garden in those days. I remember going out and pulling weeds in the garden, as a family, right up to dusk. The vegetables from this garden provided food for us, the neighbors and others in need. My Dad, by way of his own daily example, taught the importance of hard work and labor. I owe my work ethic to him and try to honor him, even after his passing in 2006, by staying committed to the diligence that he displayed in his work and home life.
Of course there were consequences if I failed do my chores or if I did them only halfway. Dad was effective at impressing the lesson. I tried to never need reminding! Maybe it is these types of chores—real, hard, manual labor—that are missing from the experience of so many of the young people today. With the distractions of television, video games, movies, texting, chatting and the speed of life itself, it appears that there is little time for good, old fashioned, character-building chores.
Regrettably, many today do not have positive work role models and do not know the satisfaction that can come from doing chores. There is an incredible Book that gives sound counsel as to the manner in which one should work. Its advice, if followed, will lead to blessings and abundance.
My Dad, whether shoveling coal, jack-hammering, or tending to his garden, sought to do everything he did with his might. The Bible, in the book of Ecclesiastes, states, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…" (Ecclesiastes 9:10) I believe this to be the best single-sentence statement of a good work ethic available.
In contrast, the Bible states in Proverbs 14:23, "In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty." I can't help but think of the endless lines of "texting" and "idle chatter" that flow from electronic devices all over our modern world.
The Bible is a book of right understanding, sound wisdom, and pure knowledge. It provides insight and instruction. It reveals God's plan and purpose for all mankind. Do you ever ponder the meaning and purpose of your life? Would you like to live a life of abundance and joy?
To learn more about this amazing book, the Holy Bible, and the rich truth that God has diligently preserved, request our free booklet, The Bible: Fact or Fiction. Also, to understand the meaning and purpose of your life, request our inspiring and insightful booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny. It may change your life!