As I was sitting at my desk the other day, I looked to my right and noticed a book that we inherited from my Mother-in-law’s library when she passed away. It is titled, The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett. I open it up and start to flip through it curious what the book is about. It is a book compiled for parents to share short stories, and poems that teach a lesson on a certain virtue. It is compiled into sections based on the virtue. I immediately turned to the “Work” chapter curious what I might find.
I ran across this poem that children used to memorize (according to the book) in the 19th and early 20th century. It says:
Work while you work,
Play while you play;
One thing each time,
That is the way.
All that you do,
Do with your might;
Things done by halves
Are not done right.
My first thought was, “What a great poem!” My second thought was, “Why have kids stopped memorizing this?” and my third thought was, “I need to memorize this myself.”
In a world full of multi-tasking, I fall into these traps all too often. Kids seem to know how to focus on work or play, but as adults, we don’t. Sometimes, I’m not quite devoted to my work when I’m trying to get it done. And, other times, I should be focused on playing with my kids 100% when they need my attention, but I have one eye on facebook while we are playing together.
It is the same thing with our spirituality. We can’t expect to do things half way. Instead, we are expected to give all of our efforts when we are doing the Lord’s work. Why should it be any different than this poem states about work and play? Becoming more spiritual beings is work. If we aren’t giving all we can to the Lord, then we are not doing things right.
But, I like this lesson mostly for me as a parent. I need to be reminded to be present and not listen half-heartedly. I need to be reminded to dedicate myself to the hard work too. Most of all, I need to be reminded that doing things half way never is the answer, and it is always best to work while you work, and play while you play. I love it.