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Monday, June 5, 2017

Purpose in the Pain

My oldest grandson is home from college for the summer and needs to earn some money. He applied at several local restaurants for summer work but before he takes one of those jobs, I asked him to work for me for a week.

The job I gave him to do was to install over 400 exit signs at an apartment complex in San Diego. That’s a lot of exit signs and a lot of work. It’s not a complicated job but the hard part is that each sign is located at the base of a fire door, so you have to get down on your knees on the concrete floor to install each one. I worked with him the first morning and together we installed 20 signs. I told him I would pay him by the hour, but that I would also consider paying him “per sign” to give him a chance to make more money. Before I left I mentioned that installing 100 signs in one day would be a good goal. I knew it would be tough to get that many done, but I also wanted to test him and see if he had good character and a strong work ethic.

He called me around 5:30 that first evening to tell me he had just finished his 100th exit sign and was heading home. I was really pleased and really proud of him for getting so much work done completely on his own. I asked him how it went and he said, “Good, but I am really sore, especially my knees.” I laughed and told him, “That’s why I hired you to do it instead of doing it myself!” I also told him I was very proud of him and that I would pay him “per sign” for the whole project, which will definitely enable him to make twice as much money. What I didn’t tell him ahead of time, and maybe what I was trying to teach him, is that nothing good comes easy in life. They call it hard work for a reason, but the good news is that there is always “purpose in the pain”.

This morning, as I sat down to write this story, something occurred to me. We were given the ultimate example of “purpose in the pain” about 2000 years ago when Jesus attempted to reach his goal. He demonstrated extraordinary work ethic and suffered an enormous amount of pain, yet never lost sight of His purpose. The next time I get down on my knees to install a sign, or for any reason, I’m going to remember that I have more than one reason to be on my knees.
My Grandson, Jared, all grown up!

Whatever you do in life, echoes in eternity.
~ Anonymous

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