Celeste, my 9-almost-10-year-old granddaughter, was the first to decide to sell things on our quiet private lane. It was during the summer, and she sold flowers picked from my garden and an opportunity to blow bubbles. I have to give her credit for her efforts. She made $5 that day from kind neighbors who must have felt some compassion for her out in the hot sun.
This Saturday, all three of the grandchildren were at our house and wanted to try this selling thing again. I thought it might be a perfect teaching moment. Why not help them understand the art of being an entrepreneur and putting their ideas to work? Celeste had been willing to put aside her $5 in an envelope labeled “business money.” We took the $5 plus some investor money (me being the investor), and we went to the grocery and Good Will to make our purchases. The children picked out several cups, the ingredients for our special hot chocolate mix, and a bag of marshmallows.
Back home, they washed the cups and mixed the dry ingredients. Individual servings of the mix went into baggies with 3 marshmallows. The baggies were tied with colorful yarn and plopped into the cups. Viola! “Hot Cocoa 2 Go. Just add one cup of hot water.”
The three kids excitedly pulled a folding table and chairs from the garage. I had a fall-looking tablecloth they spread over the ancient card table. They put our old wagon with a potted mum in it out front for decoration. And I must not forget to mention the signs. Lots of colored construction paper signs, taped to green sticks, were scattered along the road proclaiming their intentions to sell someone a cup of hot cocoa to go.
The whole thing wore me out. But the grandchildren had fun. There wasn’t much traffic on our lane Saturday plus a strong wind blew in that made it necessary to close up shop early. A good friend saved the day when she came and bought several cups and extra mix. The day ended with a little profit and another envelope marked “business money” ready for the next venture. Thoughts are already swirling about what to sell next.
What’s the point of this story, other than to tell you something about my adorable grandchildren and the lengths this “Grammy” will go to have fun with them? It’s about work.
Studying Ruth chapter 2 this week reminded me that work is not a bad thing. It was not a curse put on Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden after they disobeyed God. Adam had already been given the task of taking care of the garden and of naming the animals way before he fell into the habit of sin.
So what is it about work that bothers us so much? Is it because we are not happy in our work? Is it because we don’t like those with whom we have to work? Is it because we are not paid what we think we are worth? I guess the list goes on and on.
I’ll get to the point. Ruth’s work ethic was admirable despite that she was gleaning in someone’s field. It didn’t seem to matter to Ruth. Her goal was to provide for Naomi and herself, and she was willing to do whatever was necessary. Looking at Ruth’s story from my vantage point and seeing how it turned out, I think Ruth’s first day at her work was one thing that caught Boaz’s attention. She seemed to stand out in the crowd of workers that day.
How about you? How about me? Can we do an honest day’s work on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday . . . no matter the task given us? No matter how humble, no matter who is watching? Paul said it well in Colossians 3:23 and 24:
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (New King James Version)