Hard Work Pays Off
This past week on Spring Break I had the opportunity to travel down to Orlando and spend some time with family and relax. Like every trip to Florida, I had many conversations with my wife’s grandfather, Tom VonDeylen (Class of 1952). He has shared a lot of advice throughout the years about life and faith, but he stated something during the conversation that really stuck with me. He said, “No matter where you are and what job you have, if you work hard you will be successful.” How true is that?
In my ministry here at Concordia I not only teach, but I also have the blessing of coaching football. The beautiful thing about the classroom and coaching football is that they both teach a simple lesson, but a very important lesson. That lesson is that hard work will pay off. No matter ones ability, size, strength or other measurable attributes, hard work will always pay off. In the classroom there is a misconception that sometimes people buy into. That misconception is that people are either a good student or they are a struggling student and that it doesn’t matter what a student does, that’s just how things are. This couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the things I always say to my students is, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” My job as teacher is to lead students to the information and show them how to use it; their job is to work hard, study and make use of the information given to them.
This is also what I love about coaching football. I get to work with a group of young men and coach them to see the bigger picture, work hard and sacrifice for each other. We work hard toward a common goal. In using our abilities to work hard together we also shine light on Christ and honor Him in that way.
When we take this lesson and attempt to apply it to our faith, however, it doesn’t hold true. The more we work and try to earn His salvation, the more we show our shortcomings and sinful nature. 2 Corinthians 12:9 states “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” We work hard for Christ, to honor Him, NOT to earn His salvation.
How great it is, that we as brothers and sisters in Christ can work hard to honor our Father in heaven here on earth, and yet we can also rest in His grace, mercy and forgiveness for eternal salvation.
To God be the Glory!
Social Studies Teacher & Assistant Football Coach