Where and when I learned to stick to a job or project and finish it, I attribute to my mother and dad who instilled that quality in me. Raised on a Wisconsin dairy and hog farm, at an early age I had regular chores to do, like feeding the chickens, gathering the eggs, feeding the calves and help milk cows. I believe helping on the farm was the natural course for me to take. I also believe in the importance of parents giving their children regular work to do.
Because of my father’s poor health, when I was eleven, we moved to a small city where we lived for five years. In high school I worked on a Sunday paper route. Soon after I started, I nearly doubled the sales, yet my manager divided my route to give part to another boy. Again I doubled my sales but the manager divided my route again. Well, I stuck to it without complaining.
In my junior year of high school, I went out for football and faithfully stayed with it through my senior year, even though I didn’t get to play much. At the end of the season the coach awarded letters to two other seniors and me for finishing out the season. During this time I enjoyed active membership in the Boy Scouts, earning the Eagle badge.
When I was 35 years old, I enrolled in graduate school at the University of Minnesota. I had been out of college in non-academic work for nine years. Therefore I found it difficult to concentrate and to study. Yet not once did I think of quitting or of failing. Taking Organic Chemistry proved a great challenge for I had not taken a Chemistry course for about 12 years. In the first test, I looked it over and panicked. I didn’t think I could answer a single question. But I finally finished the test.
In just one year and a quarter, I earned my Maters degree, receiving high grades. Again, I believe the Lord blessed me for sticking it out.
After four years of teaching, I pursued and finished three more years of graduate school, earning a PhD. Again, the Lord blessed me with high grades. I found out it took steady, dedicated work and study to finish the various tasks in my life I started. I believe now the value of my parent’s and the Lord in directing my paths.
Has this “stick to it” principle I learned as a child and practiced through my life paid off? I believe so. My wife and I have been married 57 years. Yes, we have had trials and testing, but have committed ourselves to make our marriage work. We have built our marriage on love and respect and have learned to put the Lord first in our marriage.
Finally, I have always enjoyed the satisfaction of completing a task and seeing a job well done. I believe the Lord has blessed me in this endeavor.
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