August 10, 2017

hard work is a blessing

Life can change so swiftly. It is interesting to me how one day you can feel overwhelmed and sit down and write a list of reasons why you should go to therapy (and come up with 12 reasons, no less) and then a few days later, just like that, your world changes and life is better than it's ever been. Maybe you still should think about therapy, but, at the moment, everything is so right in the world your list doesn't much matter.

One week ago today my life did not get any easier. In fact, my load increased. But, you know what, my joy has increased tenfold. It seems, all of the better things happening in life actually take even more work. Hard work.

That's why I thought it was fitting that the articles to read this week for the article group I am a part of were all about work. I am looking forward to the discussion tonight when we meet, but these were some quotes that stood out to me from the three articles we were invited to read about work.

"The Principle Of Work" by F. David Stanley--

"Some 2,700 years ago, a Greek poet observed that “in front of excellence the immortal gods have put sweat, and long and steep is the way to it.” (Hesiod, Works and Days, 1. 287, as cited in John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, 14th ed., Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1968, p. 67.)"

"Hard work is a blessing of God. It involves going after it “with all your heart, might, mind and strength.” (D&C 4:2.) That alone is the difference between the average and the excellent."

"While serving as a mission president, many times missionaries would say to me, “But President, I want baptisms now.”
My answer was then and always will be, “You must work hard, be diligent, be humble, and exercise your prayers of faith.”"
"The prophet Alma said it very well while glorying in the success of Ammon and his brethren. He said, “Behold, they have labored exceedingly.” (Alma 29:15.)"
"Why Kids Need to Experience the Value of Hard Work" by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze--             "Teaching a child to work is not child abuse."
"Another huge benefit of teaching a child the wonder of work is that she will tend to lose respect for people who refuse to work. Why is this good? It is good because you want your daughter to marry Mr. Right, not Mr. Lazy. We noticed quickly that our daughters (and our son) didn’t pursue relationships with people who didn’t know how to work. This is great news, because someday you may have grandkids, and you want both of their parents to be productive so your grandkids get to eat."
 "It was especially evident when their prayers included “Help us to have a fun day tomorrow and a fun day the day after that.” That little phrase hit me hard. Is our family so out of touch with others’ needs and so removed from thanking the Lord that the only place we need God to intervene is to guarantee our fun? Where had we gone wrong?
"Not only that, but we live in a culture full of cheap thrills and expensive entertainment that everyone feels like he or she must be a part of. You don’t take an annual trip to Disneyland? Your poor kids! You aren’t going to spend the day at a trampoline park? Bummer! Your kids don’t have iPhones or iTouches yet? So sad! You aren’t going away for the three-day weekend? What will you do at home?
Fun is a drug. Take a little and you want more. Take enough and it no longer satisfies. You need bigger, better, more expensive activities to fill you up. The simple moments are no longer satisfactory, and the big events don’t seem all that big anymore. Fun is a junk food diet that leaves you giddy for a moment, then hollow and wanting more."

"As I read biographies and listen to interviews about successful people who have changed the world, there seems to be a common thread in what they learned as a children and adolescents: hard work."
A few more pictures to brighten your day...