Fifteen-year old Kevin was helping us with the construction of our house–and doing a great job! But one day, I found Kevin pounding a dozen nails into a 2 by 12 truss system that didn’t really need any extra support. When I asked him why he was pounding the nails, his response astonished me. When he finished all of his work for the day he went to his dad and asked what he should do when he was finished with all of his work. His dad said, “Go pound nails and be productive!”–and Kevin did exactly that! I have never forgotten that moment.
Now, a little over a decade later, I see a contrast. I see government spending itself into oblivion without being productive. A society that consumes more than it produces cannot long remain great. It is such a simple concept. We must start being productive. It is time to restore and invigorate the cultural standard of excellence and hard work.
I was talking with a very successful businessman who is now in his mid-seventies. I asked him what formed the foundation of his success and he told me: he is still working 14 hours per day, six days a week. There are no short cuts!
How much more can we consume before we ourselves are consumed? Other nations are not our biggest threat–we are. It is time to heed Solomon’s proverbial wisdom: “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house” (Proverbs 24:27).
There are too many today trying to build their homes and their futures without the preparation and perseverance of a solid framework of biblical values. It’s time to start doing something, even if it’s pounding nails into a board. Maybe someone will see you and open a door to future work–that’s what happened for Kevin! He became my most valued employee and continues to be one of the most admirable workers I’ve ever known.
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