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The Blessedness Of Work








—Labor

—Diligence


The Truly Happy Life is the One Filled With Honest Employment.




THE LESSON—That in childhood and youth we should train ourselves to work.




Work is the keynote of the successful life. "An idle brain is the devil's workshop." The talk is designed to catch the attention with a smile and then give an opportunity to present some valuable thoughts in the matter of diligence and the fulfillment of life's mission through honorable employment of the mind and the hands.


The Talk.


"Very often we read some very curious things. The manufacturer of one of the well-known breakfast foods, has placed this strange statement on the outside of each of the packages: 'Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.' It seems impossible to do this, and the writer of the words probably had an entirely different way of explaining how he would do it from the way we will demonstrate it here on the drawing paper today. Let us suppose that we make the statement that we can tell what a man is if we know what he eats. All right, then, here is a case: There is a certain man who eats three meals a day out of a dish shaped something like this: [Draw lines representing Step 1 of Fig. 37.]


Figures 37 and 38: Drawing of a dish of rice, that upside-down becomes a Chinese man.

"And then, let us suppose that the food he eats is heaped up like this: [Add lines to change the drawing to Step 2.]


"Now, what do you think this food is? Ice cream? Ah, no, because when I tell you that this is steam rising from the food you will know it isn't ice cream: [Add lines to change the drawing to Step 3.]


"But you will begin to see what it is when I tell you that these two lines represent chopsticks: [Add lines to change the drawing to Step 5.] What is it? Rice? Yes, it is rice, and we will label it in this way. [Add the letters, to change the drawing to Step 5.]


"And now, having found out what the man eats, let us see if we can find out who he is. [Remove the sheet from the drawing board, hold it up and turn it over, exposing Fig. 38 to the audience. With the attention thus centered upon your work, the boys and girls will listen with eagerness to whatever else you may have for them.]


"And so, I tell you of another thing that we can do.


"Listen! Tell me what a boy thinks about, and I will tell you what kind of a man he will grow up to be.


"The man who swears, thought of bad things and used bad words when he was a boy. The man who is a thief thought about dishonest things when he was a boy. The man who is happy and who finds it his delight to do good, formed the habit of thinking and doing good things when he was a boy. The man who loves his work learned to like to work when he was a boy.


"And it is work that I want to speak about today.


"There is no place in the world for a lazy boy or girl. Nobody wants them. Boys who hate to work are the kind that loaf around poolrooms and pollute the air with vile cigarette smoke and language which bespeaks an empty mind and a corrupt heart.


"As Jesus is our great example in every way, He stands out strongly as our example of how a workman should delight in his employment. We should first find the thing which God intends that we shall do, for we are all fitted to do some things better than others, and we should then put forth our best efforts to learn to do that one thing as well as we can. We must center our thoughts upon the things we want to do. Life will then become a delight, because the world is always crying for workers who know how to do their work. The other kind is always to be found but never wanted. The demand is for the ones who know how. It is a significant fact that the first recorded words of Jesus Christ are, 'Wist ye not that I must be about my father's business?' This makes of Jesus a Business boy, and it was God's work he began so soon.


"Gladstone, an inspiring example of the true workman, says, 'The thrift of time will repay in after life with usury of profit beyond your most sanguine dreams, and the waste of it will make you dwindle alike in intellectual and moral stature beyond your darkest reckoning.'


"The happiest people in the world are those who are busy at something worth while, and the most miserable are those who are in idleness for lack of ambition or else are engaged in work which they themselves loathe because of its baseness."







Next: The Doorway

Previous: A Firm Foundation



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