Motivation: I did my best

My husband earned money for college by working during high school and during summers.  This included paper routes, mowing lawns, odd jobs, working in a grocery store, and putting up cement stave silos.  The silo work was very physically demanding:  his first silo task was to lift 98 lb. cement blocks into a mechanism that hoisted the blocks up, up, up to the next row: sometimes 80 feet in the air.  Block after block, all day.

At the end of the stacking, you still had to tighten the rings of the silo and then coat the inside of the silo with cement.  The workers coated the entire interior of the silo 20 feet up and then the joints all the way up.

My husband learned a very important lesson from Richard, his foreman.  Richard was being very particular when he was cementing the interior of the silo.  “Why are you being so picky?  No one will ever know.  They won’t ever see this part of the silo.”

Richard replied, “You will know.  Everytime you drive by this silo, you will say, I didn’t do my best.

No one else will know– but you will.”

That lesson has stayed with my husband all his life.  In all our years of marriage (since 1984), I have never seen him do a sub-standard job.  If he fixes a piece of moulding in a house, he cuts it so it fits.  If he sands a table top, he sands it smooth.  If he makes a shelf, even the interior corners are finished nicely.  His carpentry and skills have increased over the years, so I think the work continues to improve.

In our lives, we need to remember we are accountable to God to do our best. Sometimes motivational speakers use this concept to manipulate people to feel guilty about their efforts–shame on them!  I need to do my best.  You need to do your best.

And then we need need to be okay with that and keep going.

And then when we drive by the silo, or the closet that we cleaned, or the garden we weeded, or the home school day that is passed, we will know that we did our best.  And we are okay with that.

Thank you, Lord, for helping me through today. Help me tomorrow.  Help me to love and obey You always.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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