Gina Caswell Kelly
My sisters and I have been cleaning out my mom and dad’s house. There was still lots of my stuff there from when my family lived in that house, plus tons of stuff of my parents. (As an aside to the point of this column, start cleaning out your stuff now! Do not wait! There is a lot of stuff in your attic nobody is going to want! Trust me.)
As we have been going through things, there are so many things that make you laugh and make you cry and make you roll your eyes. But there was one thing that really caught my eye. It was my daddy’s hoe. Think about when you look at a brand new hoe. It has a nice squared off edge. A solid wooden handle. Not this one. This hoe had a blade that had been worn rounded. Instead of a flat edge, the edge of the hoe was more of a crescent shape and the blade was thin. And, I guess at some point in his life, he had broken the handle. He had welded a steel rod into place as the handle on this hoe. He had gotten more than his money’s worth out of this hoe. I have done lots of hoeing in my life. I have hoed in cotton. I have hoed in the yard. I have hoed in the alley. But I have never in my life hoed so much that I made a lick of difference in the shape of the hoe blade. Nor have I ever hoed so much that the handle just wore out!
Daddy’s fingers always had a curve to them. He couldn’t straighten them out. He always said he had spent too much time with his hands curved around a hoe handle. I always just laughed that off. But I will tell you what! After seeing that hoe, I am inclined to believe him! There was never any doubt that the man knew how to work. And he taught us to work. He worked hard. He always farmed and had cattle. He loved that life. But he was called to the ministry. And he loved that life. As hard as he worked with that hoe, he worked twice that hard with his Bible. He loved the Lord and wanted everyone to know the Savior he knew.
There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man or yourself.” (Colossians 3:23)This is what we are called to do. Whatever we do, we should do it to the very best of our ability. No matter what the task before us, we give it our all. I watched regional track competition this weekend. Giving it your all could be seen on the faces of those kids as they hurled themselves across the finish line. Working with all your heart could be seen in the arms of that wheelchair athlete firing his chair around the track for the 400. It can be seen in that worn down old hoe that represents the heart of a man that truly gave his all in everything he did.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. Work until the job is done. Work until you are exhausted and then work some more. Our world needs people who will stay the course and not give up when things get a little difficult. Our world needs people who will work for the Lord with all their heart and not give up just because they got old. Or they are tired. Or COVID hit. Our world needs people to rise up with a dedication to what is right, and what is good, and what will bring our nation to its knees before the Lord.
We do not have an unlimited number of opportunities to serve God and to bring others to know the Savior that we know. Our days truly are numbered.
As I look at that hoe blade and see how worn down it is, and I think about my work and my life, I know that I have not done nearly enough. As Daddy worked so hard and made in difference in the shape of that blade, he also worked hard and made a difference in the lives of hundreds of people. I want my life to look like that old hoe blade when I am done. I want to know that I have made a difference in peoples’ lives. I want to know that when I finally close my eyes and open them in heaven, I will see other people leaning on their worn out hoes with joy on their faces with the knowledge that they did make a difference.
What about you? Are you working with all your heart? Are you making a difference? It is not too late!
Make a difference today!