By Jan Miller Penton

Ffirst thing this morning my phone rang for a facetime call. I didn’t worry about looking disheveled when I saw it came from my sweet daughter in East Tennessee. She could barely contain her excitement as she showed me the first beautiful snowfall of the year. Around this time last year, she and I were sliding down a mountain road soaking up all the beauty. We found lots of quaint and scenic places to take photos, and it felt like a winter wonderland.

We only had a few minutes to chat as his first client was on his way. She has a fantastic home massage therapy business and keeps her busy with it. In fact, her quirky, fun, and caring demeanor probably appeals to clients as much as her massage therapy skills. I believe that personality is everything for anyone in the service industry and can make or break a business.

Just before I sat down to write my column, a piece of furniture was delivered to me. The delivery was a little later than I expected, but it was not a problem for me. Jimmy owns the delivery service and explained that he was late because his assistant didn’t show up. He said he pays his helpers well, but they often don’t show up for work. When I was young people wanted to work and were embarrassed to lend a hand. My how things have changed!

But Jimmy carried out his duties faithfully, even without help. He said he can still make most of his deliveries, but it’s just taking him a little longer.

I don’t want to dwell on this because there are still a lot of people who work hard and show up for work, but those who don’t make it difficult for others to try to make a living.

There is one verse in Ecclesiastes that has impacted my work ethic. I will paraphrase it.

Whatever your hand finds to do, work hard. I have found that hard work even trumps talent or natural gifts in many cases. Now that I’ve talked about my fabulous work ethic, I think about areas in which I should work harder! The old saying goes, be careful not to point your finger, because three will be pointed at you.

It reminded me of this book that I haven’t written yet. God gave me the talent, but I have to do the job. I hope that 2022 will be the year in which I achieve this goal. Whether a lot of people read it or not, I know I have at least one good book in me, and I don’t want to leave it without writing.

This year, I pray that each of you will take a moment to think about what you want to accomplish and work hard to make it happen. If all of us, or even some of us, actively pursue those dreams that God has placed in our hearts, we will encourage others to pursue their dreams. Let’s go for that!


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