September 13, 2021

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
– Proverbs 21:5 (ESV)

In athletics, we’re always talking about luck. How many of us have heard or made a statement like this after a hard-fought game:  “Well, luck just wasn’t on our side tonight” or “Wow, the breaks just didn’t go our way?” I learned very early in my coaching career the lucky teams were usually the ones that worked the hardest to prepare. Sure, sometimes we face an opponent that simply has more talent, but when evenly matched, the individual or team that has prepared themselves the best usually prevails. Lucky teams don’t often win championships. Champions don’t leave things to chance and good fortune. The formula for success is more often dependent on hard work than shortcuts or luck.

Hard work was valued in Solomon’s day. To see a task to its completion was an accomplishment. In today’s world we often get scared off by the idea of hard work. If we do start something, quitting is often the answer when things get a little tough. Being a hard worker doesn’t come naturally to most people. The trait is learned and is a sign of strong character. Too often we give in to looking for a shortcut or taking the easy option. Usually, that approach leads to disappointment and a waste of precious time and energy. Solomon tells us to “work hard as if in the service of God.” Surely we don’t want to serve God with a haphazard or “whatever” approach. Let’s remember that God gave His best through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. He deserves nothing less than our best in return.

Heavenly Father, You leave nothing to chance. Lord, teach me the value of hard work. Help me to give You and those you have called me to serve my very best today and every day. Amen.

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