Read Matthew 9:35-38.
“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field’” (vv. 37-38).
Evan Turner left Ohio State after the 2009-10 season as the best basketball player in the country, but he didn’t arrive in Columbus that way. Hard work accounted for the change.
From the spring of 2008 through the summer of 2009, Buckeye team manager Lee Miller got the same three-word text at night, sometimes after 10 p.m.: “Want to shoot?” He sometimes tried to beg off by noting he didn’t have a ride, but the offer of one always came. So the two students would meet up and head for the gym.
There, Miller rebounded and fired back passes to the shooter. Or he played defense. Or just watched as his courtmate dribbled two balls at once, created spin moves, or did crossovers with his eyes closed. Always, that player was “working his game and his imagination until he’d reached 35 points.”
That wasn’t just occasionally either. It was usually six nights a week in the spring and the summer.
That player was Evan Turner, who, in his junior season of 2009-10, was the best college basketball player in the country. That season he led the Buckeyes to the league’s cochampionship, a 29-8 record, and a berth in the Sweet Sixteen. He swept nearly all of the major player of the year awards and was the Big Ten’s male Athlete of the Year.
But that recognition came after all those late nights in the gym his freshman and sophomore seasons when Turner was driven to hard work because he knew he wasn’t good enough. “My first two or three months [at Ohio State],” he said, “I didn’t know if I could play at this level. . . . I wasn’t sure of myself.”
So he went to work and became what OSU head coach Thad Matta called “a poster child for young players.” “This is how you do it,” the coach said. You work for it.
Do you embrace hard work or try to avoid it? No matter how hard you may try, you really can’t escape hard work. Funny thing about all these labor-saving devices like cell phones and laptop computers: You’re working longer and harder than ever. For many of us, our work defines us perhaps more than any other aspect of our lives. But there’s a workforce you’re a part of that doesn’t show up in any Labor Department statistics or any IRS records.
You’re part of God’s staff; God has a specific job that only you can do for him. It’s often referred to as a “calling,” but it amounts to your serving God where there is a need in the way that best suits your God-given abilities and talents.
You should stand ready to work for God all the time, 24-7. Those are awful hours, but the benefits are out of this world.
When a lot of players around the country were out having a good time, I was working. It was like therapy to me. – Evan Turner
God calls you to work for him using the talents and gifts he gave you; whether you’re a worker or a malingerer is up to you.