Whatever It Takes

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

“Whatever it takes” are the words on a little sign that my dad gave me when I was in high school. It was indicative of his attitude toward life. What if each of us approached our work each day with that attitude?

Walter Carr graduated from Carver High School in Birmingham and wanted to become a marine. He had to earn some money for his mother and siblings, so he got a job prior to applying to the marines. He received a job from the Bellhops Moving Co. The night before Walter’s first day on the job, he discovered that his car would not crank. He didn’t have the money to get it fixed. He was to meet his boss in Pelham which was 20 miles away. He started walking the night before he was supposed to be there. He walked all night!

The police in Pelham saw him walking along the road early in the morning. When they questioned him, they were impressed by his commitment to be on time for his first day on the job. They actually bought him some breakfast and gave him a ride the last couple of miles.












Walter had a “whatever it takes” attitude! How many of us would walk all night just to be on time for our first day on the job? Luke Macklin, the CEO of Bellhops Moving, was so impressed that he drove to Birmingham to thank Walter for his commitment. He then surprised Walter by giving him the keys to his own Ford Escape!
Jesus gave us a great lesson about life. In the New Testament days a Roman soldier could command any person to carry his pack for one mile. The person was obligated under law to do it. Jesus said, “If you’re asked to carry a man’s pack for a mile, do it – then do it for the second mile.” (Matthew 5:40-41) The first is required – the second is an attitude that takes action about life. The extra mile is the mile that means the most in life! (Tweet that!) Walter went several extra miles!!

Remember in 2016 when the snow storm shut down Birmingham, Alabama? Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw is a 64 year old neurosurgeon. He was trying to get to the hospital for a surgery that was necessary to save a person’s life. He had a “whatever it takes” work ethic.
On the way to the hospital his car was bogged down in the snow. He decided the only way he could get to Trinity Medical Center was to walk. He walked for six miles! It was over two hours in the snow, but he made it to perform a successful operation. When interviewed, Dr. Hrynkiw said, “The patient was bound to die without surgery – and that’s not going to happen on my shift.”

A “whatever it takes” approach can become a great platform for expressing our Christian faith in the workplace. Excellence is never an accident! Paul wrote, “Never let it be said that Christ’s people are poor workers. Don’t let the name of God or his teaching be laughed at because of this.” (2 Timothy 6:1)

The first person mentioned in the Bible who was filled with God’s spirit was an ordinary worker whose name was Bazalel in Exodus 31:1-3. It reads, “He worked with his hands to serve the people when he was filled with the Spirit of God.” Think about that – the Bible couples being filled with the Spirit of God with a man who understood his purpose and practice of his work. Good, honest, excellent work with a “whatever it takes” attitude and work ethic can be a pretty good indication of Who lives within us.

Are you willing to go to work every day with a “whatever it takes” attitude?

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