The Boy & the Cabin series 2
A true story—the boy in the cabin becomes a teenager.
Written by Vaughan Durston, Founder of U.B. David & I'll B. Jonathan Inc.
Lesson 5: Work! Work! Work! Is that All We Ever Do?
You may have thought by now that all I did as a teenager was ride a bike, go to the cabin, go to camp after supper, and go to school and be with the girls.
My Dad was very interested in work and he thought we should be. We had chores to do before we went to school and again after school. Almost every Saturday Dad had work for us. I guess when he had four boys he knew he needed to find work and he was very good at it.
We didn't have a lot of nice tools like there are today. Dad was always buying more land and some of this land had roots to pick as well as stones. We used axes to cut off roots and a steel-tired wagon to haul stones. Our hands were what we used to pick the rocks. A little later we each had a tractor to drive with tools to get the task completed.
Did I feel sorry for myself? Yes I did, and yet while working with my brothers we often made a game out of our work: who could lift the most, throw things the farthest, etc.
Did we get paid? Yes we did. How much? It started with one cent an hour, then two, then five, then twenty-five cents per hour. The highest I ever was paid when working on the farm was $1.00 per hour. We didn't buy our own clothes until the last couple of years in high school and we never had to pay for a meal. It was pure profit and believe it or not I saved enough to put myself through college, and then some.
Where did work come from? It started out as something good, when God put Adam in the Garden of Eden so that he could "tend [work/cultivate] it and keep [care for] it" (Gen. 2:15). But when sin came, difficulties and suffering were added to work. Man's experience from then on, as Gen. 3:18 tells us, would be that "in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." And for the woman verse 16 says, "In sorrow [pain] shalt thou bring forth children."
There are people today who don't want to work and it leads to a lot of sin. "I want to do just what I want to do" is a common expression that leads to laziness and many other things. My mother used to tell us "idle hands are the devil's workshop."
Today things are certainly different than they were when I was younger. If a woman finds she is pregnant she can say "I want an abortion." If she has a child she feels she should be able to put that child in a day care. And when he's old enough to go to school she gives him a key and makes him a latch key child. If he gets into trouble, make him a ward of the state. If there aren't enough jails, build more.
There are people who genuinely need help due to their unique situations and we should help them in their difficulty, considering ourselves, that we could have the same problem.
Man was to learn to work. God decided that we shouldn't have too much time on our hands. Work was given to us by God so that we would look to Him for help. We shouldn't receive welfare just because we are lazy.
Now back to my story. When we earned the wages we did, we were careful how we spent the money because it took a long time to earn it. We could buy an ice cream cone for five cents, and a package of gum for the same amount. I remember taking a stick of gum and dividing it in half to make it go farther.
I also remember a neighbor boy who had less money than we did. Then his Dad sold his quarter section. The next time we met Norman he had a package of gum which had five sticks. He was showing us how rich he was now and put that whole package of gum in his mouth at one time. Wow! It wasn't long before he was poor again.
Dad taught us to keep books with our hours worked, if we wanted to get paid. It was a very good practice. It made us realize that our parents loved us and were more interested in our development than our ease.
Work is something that I didn't enjoy too much at the time but came to realize later that I never would have made it in some of the ventures I was in without it.
Mother and Dad worked a lot harder than we did because they remembered the day when people would work all day just to get something to eat. They often told us that money doesn't grow on trees and if we wanted to eat and have a roof over our heads we needed to share in the work load.
I hope you have to work while you are young and learn how to save money.
The Campbells taught us about God and Ephesians 2:8 & 9:
"For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast."
You get to heaven by grace through faith. After we are saved we need to pray, give and go to tell others the Good News of the gospel.
Our parents taught us that on earth we are required to work. They were great teachers who came to have the same mind on these matters. Learning to work was one of the many good things my parents taught me.