Many people work hard every day. I am not one of them. This is not to say that my job is effortless. It takes considerable focus and it requires years of training, many of which were quite difficult and were a LOT of work. After 20 years of private practice those days are well behind me and I have reached a place in life where 12 hour days are very rare. I am “on call” 24 hours a day 7 days a week, but the calls are only occasional and seldom require me to do more than spend a few minutes on the phone. I work every day and some days are difficult but there are many people who work harder than I do.
When I think of working hard I think of Manuel. Although I have known him for over 20 years I do not know his last name. Manuel has been a busboy at the local Souplantation restaurant since we first moved into town. It is one of two jobs he keeps. In total he puts in over 60 hours a week working in restaurants. He is an amazing worker.
He is in constant motion and is consistently attentive. He is not content to simply clear away dirty plates and wipe down tables. Even though the restaurant is self-service Manuel refills beverages for every table in his section and brings coffee at the end of the meal. He greets regulars like they are family, with a warm smile and a “Good to see you!” From what I have observed he does the work of two "normal" employees.
He is also a family man who takes great pride in his son who has recently started college. He is a dedicated provider who somehow managed to save enough money to purchase a home in Southern California while earning a busboy's wages.
Manuel works hard. He is also happy. I have never heard him complain about his long hours or his low status. He seems to take great satisfaction in simply doing his best, as if hard work is its own reward. He has no sense of entitlement and does not seem to begrudge anyone else for their success.
I think Manuel is on to something. He is living the promise found in the Proverbs 13:4
"Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper."