Sunday, November 19, 2006

Work Hard to Play Hard - '80's Mantra

Giving advice to one of my teenagers yesterday. This particular young man has looks, charm, smarts, and loves Jesus. He lacks a work ethic. He has play down really well. Now, I suppose he isn't the only 16 year-old within the reach of this blog to suffer from a lack of fire in the belly when it comes time to do homework and such. So, there may be a few of you who would like to offer up some advice on the subject.

We are trying incentives and disincentives with some success. But yesterday I was reminded of a mantra that was oft repeated in the 70's. The young executives could be heard to declare: "I work hard to play hard!" I was among those who had this attitude.

I can't find any scripture to back up this premise. God does use sports as analogies, and we know that Jesus went to parties, not to mention all those week-long celebrations in the Old Testament, so play is part of God's plan.

Clearly, we don't get to play if we don't work. And I continue to look forward to my times of play, especially vacations. I have even been known to counsel some of my all-work-no-play friends in the importance of taking serious time off.

But how does that finally work out in my advice to this teen. I don't think I want it to be quite so do the one to get the other. Hard work can be an end in itself (another cliche), but that can be a trap of another kind. Work should be done as if it was for God, Himself. That is Biblical. But on the days when we need motivation, because the work doesn't inspire, what might those motivations be.

I'll leave this one open ended for now. I'd love to hear from you.

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