The Habit Of Hard Work Transcript

A Women's Leadership Workshop Podcast

The goal of the Women’s Leadership Workshop Podcast is to bring practical insight and relevant leadership lessons to women. We want to help ladies everywhere learn to lead better. You can listen to all the latest podcasts now by clicking HERE. If a blog format is more your style, we’ve got you covered. Below you will find the transcript to Episode 8. You can read now!

The Habit Of Hard Work

“I’m sorry Micah. I don’t have good news. I wish I had an extra slot on the team, but I’m forced to make some cuts. You’re a good player, but we’ve already got our big guys for the season and right now I don’t have a place for you on the Wolverines Basketball Team. Keep working hard and try out again next year.”

A few years back my oldest biological child, Micah, was seeing some success in swimming. He was on a winning team and was slowly, but surely, pushing his way through the ranks. Meet after meet he would beat his previous best, and by the time he was in sixth grade, he qualified for state in the 50 Meter Fly.

He never went to state. Instead, at the end of the regular season, Micah looked me square in the eyes and said, “Mom…I really hate swimming. I did enjoy it for a while, but now I dread the pool. Please don’t make me do it anymore.” I was stunned, shocked, and resistant. But after a couple weeks, I realized I couldn’t make him love swimming. His passion for the sport was gone and with it his drive to succeed.

For the next couple years Micah floundered about, trying to find a sport or activity that interested him. He tried baseball. He was great at fielding the ball, but couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn when it came to batting. In 7th grade he wanted to try wrestling. He didn’t win a match…not one. Honestly, he didn’t even come close. That was a rough season for this mama. Watching my son slammed to the ground and tangled into positions that looked unnatural and then walking to the car and forcing out the words “you’ll get ‘em next time” felt like torture.

But then it happened. The summer before his eighth grade year, Micah started to grow and grow and grow and grow some more. By the end of middle school, he had grown nine inches in 18 months and was nearly six feet tall. You know what that means…basketball. As a former basketball player and state champ myself, I was ecstatic at the idea of sitting in the bleachers cheering for my boy. There was just one glaring problem. Micah was terrible. He couldn’t dribble to save his life. His knowledge of the game was not existent and despite the fact that he was closer to the goal than everyone else his age, he couldn’t make a shot to save his life. The only thing he seemed to be good at was rebounding. He looked at me after a particularly bad day of practice and said, “I think I’ve found my sport. I love basketball.” I smiled and nodded. “That’s great!” All the while wondering if the swimming team would take him back.

For the next nine months, Micah went to the gym every day. Oftentimes he would ask me to drop him off and leave him for four or five hours at a time. He would shoot, dribble, run and play pick-up games with guys who were bigger and stronger. And…he got better. When he made the team his Freshman year, no one was surprised. He had earned it. When he broke his foot during the first practice of the season, my heart broke. I distinctly remember looking at the ceiling and crying out to God, “Why? Why did you let him go through all this just to take it away from him?”

When we moved to Atlanta the summer before his Sophomore year, Micah joined a summer basketball league. He did well. He also asked his dad and I for a personal trainer that would push and challenge him. We agreed and Micah continued to improve. He befriended the high school basketball coach and kept his grades up. He had worked hard and his dad and I were confident that it was FINALLY, his time to shine.

We were sitting at my daughter’s dance studio, waiting for her class to conclude when the phone rang. Micah smiled, rushed outside and took the call.

“I’m sorry Micah. I don’t have good news. I wish I had an extra slot on the team, but I’m forced to make some cuts. You’re a good player, but we’ve already got our big guys for the season and right now I don’t have a place for you on the Wolverines Basketball Team. Keep working hard and try out again next year.”

He came back in and sat down next to me, a 6 foot 1 giant with the heart of a teddy bear and red streaked glossy eyes. He was trying not to cry when he relayed what the coach had said. He asked to go sit in the car and compose himself. Ten minutes later when I climbed in the car, he had made a decision.

“I get it. I didn’t have the best try-out. I think I’m actually a better choice for the team, but it’s too late now. I’ll just keep working hard. Can I keep practicing with the personal trainer? And I know it’s past the deadline, but do you think you could get me in the local rec league? If I’m going to make the team next year, I’ve got to keep getting better.”

Fortitude. Fortitude is defined as the strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.

Have you ever looked at someone and wondered, “How do they push through? How is it that when everything falls apart, they can find the strength to move forward?”

I believe the answer can be found in scripture. In the gospels, we see Jesus speak to hundreds of crowds, we see him heal the sick and raise the dead, and all the while, his disciples stood by and observed. They listened and learned and served when called upon, but up until this point the disciples had not propagated the teachings of Jesus on their own, but the time had come.

In Mark chapter 6, Jesus sends the disciples out. We’re going to read verses 7-13.

And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts— but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10 And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.

The disciples had been attentive and obedient. They had left their old lives behind and found a new purpose. They had served the Son of God tirelessly, and their hard work and dedication had brought them to this point. But Jesus was clear, they would face adversity. There would be those that doubted their claims and rejected their faith. Yet, Jesus still said, “go.”

You and I have not been promised ease of success. God never guaranteed victory. He did assure us that “those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

God is with you. Always. He is your strength and your confidence. And why would you need strength if God didn’t have a purpose for you, if there wasn’t a mission he has set you on. But first, you must set about the business of hard work. The disciples were prepared. They had been on this journey with Jesus for quite some time and their faithfulness and fortitude had given them resolve. They were willing to sacrifice without the promise of success

Have you reached that point? Are you willing to be faithful without the assurance your dreams will see fruition?

Many of the circumstances in your life are beyond your control, but hard work increases determination and creates a resilient spirit. Willpower and resolve lead to confidence and that is a pretty incredible recipe for success, but even if your goal is never reached, your dream is never realized, the habit of hard work is the victory in and of itself.

So here’s this week’s challenge: Get a good night’s rest. Eat a healthy meal. Reinforce your heart and mind with nourishment from God’s Word, and GET BACK TO WORK. Your commitment and dedication may not guarantee results, but the lack thereof will ensure your failure.

You know, I was able to wrangle up a spot for Micah in the local rec league this season. It took a lot of quick work, maneuvering and a passionate plea from a distraught mother, but we made it happen. I’m happy to report that Micah is having a stellar season. Just last week he had ten rebounds; six assists and he scored more than twenty points. He’s having fun, but he’s still working hard. He goes to the gym and practices four or five times a week and he’s added resistance training to his routine. I’m not sure if he’ll make the team next season or not. And while I would love to see him in a navy and gold jersey, I’m thankful for this season, this challenge, and I’m blessed by his response to it.

I believe our Heavenly Father looks down at our fortitude and smiles. I believe when we tighten our bootstraps, realign our focus and labor in His name, He is proud.

In the end, the habit of hard work is victory in and of itself. Maybe not today, maybe not in this situation or circumstance, but eventually your hard work combined with God’s benevolent nature will produce results.

If you’re enjoying the Women’s Leadership Workshop, I would encourage you to text a friend or family member and let them know what you’ve been learning or take just a moment to share this episode on social media. Thanks for tuning in and I hope you’ll come back again next week.

Jessica Bealer has been leading children’s ministry for 17 years. The last five years have been spent overseeing standards, systems, staffing and atmosphere for the children’s ministry of Elevation Church. She has overseen the launch of nearly twenty locations, and is considered a specialist in kidmin multisite. Jessica is a mother of four and published author. She is married to Frank, the CEO of Phase Family Centers and Executive Director of Leadership Development at Orange. Together they are the founders of FamilyMinistry.Church.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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