Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas Edison

There are a few television shows that get recorded to the DVR for my benefit each week. Aside from my weekday regiment of the PBS NewHour, Tim Allen's new sitcom called Last Man Standing is a weekly watch for both me and Mrs. Tony C.

The premise revolves around a middle-aged father of three girls struggling to relate his old school way of thinking to their more modernized, sophisicated approach to life. His wife becomes the ultimate mediator between 'manly-man' father and daughters due in large part to the fact she is obviously smarter and much more refined than her husband.

Ahem...sounds very familiar. Too familiar actually if you just add Crocs.

The wife recognizes Tim Allen's character has a great heart and always the best intentions with his often hilarious shennaigans. Sort of a remake of Allen's first sitcom character, Tim Taylor, on Home Improvement.

During a recent episode, Allen's character (Mike Baxter) is listening to his middle daughter whine about forgetting her lines during a school play (which he happened to miss) when she finally admits to the fact she didn't really put forth effort to actually memorize them.

What's wrong with you!?  You know you've got to do the work! That's what we do in this family. We do the work!

Over and over that  phrase has since buzzed in my head. Do the work! How completely and simplistically profound.

There are a number of positive attributes I get from my mom without a doubt. But, the one dominate principle I learned from my dad is to never be afraid of hard work. A lesson by example from a man who in 35 plus years never missed a day of work for sickness. Not one.

Where has this principle of  do the work been lost?  I'm constantly riding my teenager about her responsibilities around our house. Granted they're not great task but are put in place to help her better understand everyone plays an important role in making up the family. She will have her own some day, and only then will she truly realize the amount of effort required just to get through a single day of living in modern society.

But that fact hasn't really changed in thousands of years.

Sure. Our culture has become less physical with technological advances, but the garbage still has to be taken out! Meals still have to be prepared and cleaned up. No. We don't have to spend a tremendous part of our day working to hunt, kill and cook the food we eat, but we do spend a large portion of each day at a job that pays us so we can purchase the food we need to live.

I work for a relatively small Department of Defense contracting company. The model keeps the number of employees to a minimum in order to maximize the compensation for all of us who work there. To a person, everyone seems to loves it.  But there's a mutual understanding that due to our lean composition, it is vital each employee do his/her job with maximum effort and be willing to pitch in when the occasional overload shows up. That's not my job is not only an unacceptable's practically nonexistent.

Unfortunately, I don't see the same demeanor at my church where the typical (to churches) 10% of members do 90% of the task necesary for the church to thrive and function. Such a shame too. In a congregation of over 300 people, so much could be done for God's glory if everyone would do the work  He needs us to do.

What I find most baffling is this lassez faire attitude in today's church bridges each and every generation...even to the surviving members of the Greatest Generation. Christians can't blame just young people for the stagnant state of the American church. We've become increasingly lazy as a whole in our society and as a subset in our places of worship.

A daunting subject matter that undoubtedly will require more addressing in future post. I'm going to leave you today, however, with a thought and hopefully a chuckle.

The thought is this: The next time you're walking down your street, in your office building, around your church or anwhere else for that matter...and you come across a piece of trash on the ground/floor...pick it up and put it in a trash can. Do the work necessary regardless of blame or due credit and don't leave it for someone else to do.

Now here's the chuckle. It's a little disturbing watching this knowing I'm in complete agreement with what Tim Allen is saying for the sake of comedy...but that's a blog post for Mrs. Tony C to write I suppose.

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