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Worth Working For, by Phil Ware Phil Ware

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    “Anything worth having is worth working for.”

    I’m not sure if my mom and dad picked that up from Ben Franklin or if it is just one of those things that you learn to say when you turn thirty and have children entering the world of competition and achievement. All I know is that even though I once resented this saying, I now fervently quote it. Just ask my children — who are no longer children but still get a regular dose of wisdom from the sage!

    I’ve recently rediscovered this truth for myself. It involved that dastardly, misused creation of American housing we call the garage. For most of us, it’s the junk pile, storage shed, and hiding place for everything from firewood to old college yearbooks. Most garages rarely see a car.

    Living in Texas, you learn that Fall and Spring are always exciting times for weather. You can be six inches behind in rain and recapture it with one or two cold fronts in the Fall or Spring. Along with the torrential rains come all the good stuff that make insurance agents cringe: lightning, wind, tornados, and hail. It’s the latter that got our attention last year. When the sky turned that special color of “here-comes-the-hail” green, we realized that we couldn’t put any of our cars in the garage because of our collection of junk and Donna’s teaching materials that had to come home for the summer. Fortunately one car was at the grocery, one at college, and only the red Acclaim was in the driveway. I actually felt sorry for my insurance company! It looked liked it had a case of chicken pox when the drum roll of weather’s fury stopped.

Bit by bit, month by month, we made progress.
    We made a commitment to start working on our garage and prevent any such future chicken pox outbreaks. I floored some of the attic. Donna went through many of her teaching materials. I threw away a ton of junk. Donna threw away a ton of junk. Bit by bit, month by month, we made progress. Finally, the garage was cleared out enough to get a car in.

    “Anything worth having is worth working for!” (Yep, I know it’s a bit sad when a forty-four year old man can get excited about a clean garage, but hey it was my version of “Into Thin Air.” What can I say?)

    When God goes to work on us and finally gets a little of our cooperation, that’s how he transforms us — bit by bit, month-by-month, throwing away a ton of junk here and there. Then one day, we wake up and realize that our lives are much more useful, cleaned up of a lot of garbage and clutter, and look a whole lot more like Jesus than they did months earlier.

    I don’t know where you are on your projects. Even more, I’m not sure where God is in his clean up project on you. But I do know that “anything worth having is worth working for.” It may not be easy. The task may seem daunting. But if we’re willing to partner with God and keep our focus on Jesus, the Holy Spirit has an incredible surprise awaiting us out there on the horizon. And my source of information comes from someone infinitely more reliable than Ben Franklin!

    “And we, who with unveiled faces all behold and reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)


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