Monday, September 11, 2006

School Days

From the faded hallways of my mind as I reminisce about my high school days –

As I read and add posts about my upcoming 20 year class reunion on the reunion website, I can’t help but think of another first in my life. My daughter, Jordan, started to K4 last week. I didn’t tell Jennifer or Jordan that I planned to go with them to take her to class on her first day. Boy, were they surprised and happy. I had always planned to do this when the time came, though I didn’t know if I would be sad or if she would scream her head off and not let go of mommy and daddy, I wanted to be there for my baby girl. I am happy to report that her first day was quite uneventful; in fact she went straight to her seat and simply told mommy and daddy bye. I am grateful that she enjoys school very much and she is eager to learn.

I began to recall my own first day of school and how eager I was to learn, too. I thought of all the friends I had made over the years and all of the good times and some of the bad. You know, it is quite funny some of the things you do remember. As I recall my high school days, I remember many things but the memories I treasure most are the friendships. Some have continued and grown and flourished over the years and some were fleeting acquaintances along life’s highway. No matter what the level of relationship was back then, though we may have been best of friends or maybe we just shared a class together, I am thankful for having known each and everyone of my classmates. I hope I can pass on to my children how important it is to have a few solid friendships; those that last through the test of time, girlfriends/boyfriends, being grounded, good times and bad. And to also have relationships with others that may not last but they do create fond memories of our youth.

So, to Paige, Everett, Mike and Tracy; thank you for being there whether I was up or down, happy or sad, serious or clowning around, and for accepting me for who I was. To all the rest of my classmates, thank you for being a part of my life and thank you for sharing your lives with me. Know that I care for each and every one of you and no matter what our level of relationship was or is; you can always count on me.

Brad Walker

Friday, September 08, 2006

Labor Day

I know it has been a while since I have written but there has been much activity in my life and work during the past couple of weeks. Dad is still in SICU and pretty much the same. His vital signs are good but he still thinks he needs the ventilator to breathe. He is breathing on his own, though the ventilator provides some pressure support to help expand his lungs when he inhales. I guess you could say he has gotten lazy by being so dependant on the ventilator.


Watching dad and his struggle to be weaned off of the ventilator caused me to ponder the significance of Labor Day, which was Monday.


Labor Day has its roots in the labor unions of the 1880’s and is celebrated today as a day of rest for the working man or woman. I believe that is appropriate; I mean even God took a day to rest after creating the universe. But what really disturbs me is the extraordinary number of people today that would rather not work. Or the ones that refuse to do a particular type of work. Or even worse, the high school teens that seek part time work with the expectation of a much greater than minimum wage pay rate. It seems that advent of technology has made us a nation of lazy people. We would rather take 5 minutes to pop a processed sandwich or dinner in the microwave than take an hour to prepare a home cooked meal. Or maybe go through the car wash instead of hand washing our car. Like dad, we want more help breathing in return for less effort. We want to be paid for NOT working or, we want to make more money by doing less work. I believe people in this great country have forgotten how to LABOR. Not very many years ago, entire families would work from daylight until dark to harvest the crops, feed the livestock, milk the cows, maintain the buildings and structures on the property, MAKE their own clothes, cook three meals a day, hunt for and preserve their meat, and a number of other activities. Some days were in excess of 14 hours of work and they still managed to have family time and spend time with their friends, And let’s not forget, they usually didn’t work on Sunday’s. They took God’s lead and spent a day of rest and time with God.


There are people in many countries that perform hours and hours of excruciating labor for only pennies per day and they still cannot feed their families or buy clothes. We have become a lazy nation. We don’t want to work more than eight hours, or do menial tasks, or do jobs we dislike, especially if they are only getting paid $5.35 per hour.  We don’t want to exert ourselves. We don’t want to excel at whatever task we have at hand. We choose to be average or less. Because of our choices and because of our laziness, we are being outclassed in many areas by other countries. Because we, as a nation, don’t have the work ethic of our forefathers, we fall behind in education, business ownership, market leadership, and many other areas. It is time we all learned the true meaning of Labor. Labor is a mother caring for her children and family; washing clothes, cooking meals, and cleaning the house just to name a FEW of the jobs a mother performs everyday and these may even include a job outside the home. Labor is a father building homes, programming, keeping the books for a company; whatever the occupation, he works diligently to provide food, shelter and clothing for his family. These men and women work hard to have a good life. They work even harder to maintain a balance between provision and caring with nurturing a good family life. The Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10b, “…that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” I believe there are many in this nation today that should be starving.


Take pride in your work even if it is cleaning toilets. Do your best at whatever job you perform and do it with enthusiasm. Quality work and attention to detail gets noticed and before long your $5.35 per hour is $25 per hour and even higher. Don’t be afraid to work hard to get what you desire. God will bless your hard work and maybe even ease the burden. Don’t fear LABOR; it is the basic ingredient for living a good and balanced life and it is the legacy of a strong nation.



Brad Walker